STINCHCOMB DEBUT: Second-year offensive tackle Jon Stinchcomb is expected to get his first NFL start Saturday night against Green Bay in place of injured left tackle Wayne Gandy.
Gandy pulled a groin muscle in practice Wednesday night. He missed practice Thursday and is expected to sit out of the game against the Packers.
The starting assignment will be a major test for Stinchcomb, a 2003 second-round draft pick who has played sparingly. He'll match up with Packers right end Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, who has 35ÃƒÂ‚Ã‚Â½ sacks in the past three seasons.
"He'll have his hands full against him, so it will be good to see how he does," Haslett said.
Haslett said Stinchcomb received high grades for his play last week against the Jets, particularly his work against former No. 2 draft pick Bryan Thomas.
"These are the elite, the cream of the crop," Stinchcomb said last week. "When you come out at left tackle on Sunday in the NFL you've got to be ready to play. Learning behind Wayne Gandy, who's been doing it for 11 years, he's been able to show me what it takes to compete against the highest level of athlete there is."
ETC.: Montrae Holland was excused from practice Thursday after his wife gave birth to their first baby Wednesday night. . . . Holland's absence and injuries to LeCharles Bentley (knee), Victor Riley (ribs) and Gandy (groin) left the Saints with a starting line of Stinchcomb, Kendyl Jacox, Jerry Fontenot, Jamar Nesbit and Spencer Folau on Thursday. . . . The Buccaneers signed rookie free-agent kicker Nicholas Setta, who was released by the Saints on Aug. 9. . . . Haslett said the starters will play most of the first half against Green Bay.
Heard last night after Practice from Brooks...
"Coach, my ankle, its my ankle, seriously, I may not be able to go, honest coach honest, put JT in, please. Ohhh my ankle. Should be allright for practice Monday though coach"
[Edited on 20/8/2004 by Danno]
Danno, if that\'s true then Brooks is playing with fire. With all of the other messages the coaching staff is sending to players this year, Brooks\' might not be far behind.
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