Former Bulldogs Carr, Haener make Saints preseason debut

Alec Nolan Image
Monday, August 14, 2023
The Saints quarterback room enlisting two former Fresno State signal callers this season -- the 10-year veteran and former Raider Derek Carr, alongside the rookie Jake Haener.
KFSN

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Saints quarterback room enlisting two former Fresno State signal callers this season -- the 10-year veteran and former Raider Derek Carr, alongside the rookie Jake Haener.

Carr getting the start to begin his preseason campaign in New Orleans vs the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs Sunday morning.

Despite being in unfamiliar territory, Carr was in cruise control to start the Saints' opening drive, going 6/8 for 70 yards, capping it off with a touchdown pass to Keith Kirkwood to open the scoring 7-0.

Former Tampa Bay Bucs first overall pick Jameis Winston worked with the second team once Carr sat, going 11/13 for 92 yards and a TD.

Haener would get the nod starting the second half, starting slow with an interception with just over 8 minutes to go in the third.

The Rookie would settle in, pulling the Saints within 24-23 with 1:20 to go in the game, capping off a 6-play 72-yard drive with his first-ever NFL touchdown pass to Ellis Meriwether.

Haener finished his debut going 10/15, 105 yds, 1 TD, and a pick.

New Orleans would win on a last-second FG, defeating the Chiefs 26-24 to start 1-0 in the preseason.

After the game, Carr explained what he told Haener after the rookie's interception.

"He came off after the interception, and I said you know who else threw a pick in their first preseason game? He started laughing, " Carr said. "I told him to just keep cutting it loose, it's a long half, and we're gonna win this game."

Carr once again sang his praises for the rookie as he has all summer saying, "I was really proud of him. He's gonna be a good player for a long time. He works really hard, and he cares. And he's good. The more reps he gets, he'll just keep getting better."

Haener's former Bulldog teammate, WR Nikko Remigio making an impact for the Chiefs. The undrafted rookie making a case for the 53-man roster, hauling in 4 receptions for 71 yards to lead all receivers.

Carr and company head to southern California next week, facing the Chargers on Sun. Aug 20 from Sofi Stadium.