NEW ORLEANS, LA (WLOX) - Veteran Will Smith was making the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker under the direction of new Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan.
In Sunday's preseason win over the Houston Texans, Smith injured his knee and will undergo season ending surgery.
It didn't take head coach Sean Payton much time in finding a replacement for Smith and that player was not on the Saints roster.
New Orleans traded a late round draft pick to San Francisco for veteran linebacker Parys Haralson.
The Saints will close out preseason play 6:30 Thursday night in Miami looking to go 4-0 while the Dolphins have posted only one win and 3 losses.
Don't look for the Saints key players to see much action is at all. The 4th preseason game is normally a game the coaches will rely on backups.
Wide receiver Andy Tanner may see plenty of action in the preseason game. He's been trying to crack the Saints final roster for the past three seasons. Tanner hauled in 3 passes for 33 yards and two touchdowns. However he most likely will lose out because of a numbers game when it comes to the final roster.
If the Saints don't lock him up, look for another NFL team to pick up on Tanner who just makes catches.
The development of rookie wideout Kenny Stills of Oklahoma has been a pleasant surprise. He's become a prime time receiver for veteran quarterback Drew Brees.
Of the 80 players on the Saints roster, 58 have less than four years of NFL experience. 18 players are participating in their first NFL training camp.
61 different colleges and universities are represented on the Saints training camp roster. Three players hail from Illinois, Ohio State, Miami and Oklahoma.
After watching the Saints first three preseason games, you have to feel good about the back up quarterback position. Luke McCown has shown the ability to run the Saints offense, making difficult throws and finding secondary receivers.
Rookie Ryan Griffin of Tulane has shown that he is a quarterback for the future and will crack the Saints practice squad.