It's fitting that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III will be making his NFL regular-season debut against the New Orleans Saints because he'll definitely be facing a baptism by fire.
After a tumultuous offseason that saw players, coaches and even the general manager suspended by the NFL for their respective roles in a bounty scandal, the Saints will be more than motivated when they open up the Mercedes-Benz Superdome Sunday.
New Orleans may be without head coach Sean Payton and linebacker Jonathan Vilma (who were both suspended for the entire season) as well as defensive end Will Smith (suspended for the first four games), but they still have quarterback Drew Brees, the NFL's most prolific offense from a season ago and one of the biggest home field advantages in the league thanks to an incredibly raucous crowd.
RGIII won't be lining up against Brees and the Saints' offense, but he will have to contend with the crowd, which is set on making his first career start as stressful as possible.
"I've been to games at the Superdome before," Griffin said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. "Both my parents were born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, so I know what it's like to be a fan of the Saints and just the atmosphere it's gonna be like when we step foot in that dome. It's definitely gonna be loud. They're gonna be pumped up, ready to go. It's just our job to go out and execute."
To prepare for the noise, Griffin said that he and the rest of the Redskins' offense have been practicing while loud music and simulated crowd noise blares in the background. Yet, RGIII knows that even the loudest rock music can't truly compare to the sound of 76,000 fans who are sure to be rocking the Superdome come Sunday.
"I don't think you can truly prepare for the noise that you'll get at any given stadium, but of course, you can do your due diligence and make sure that you're practicing with the loudest noise that you can possibly imagine," he said. "That's what we've been doing for the past couple days and really just working on communicating when you can't hear each other."
"That's what it's gonna be like at certain points throughout the game," he continued. "The crowd's gonna be into it and they're gonna make it extremely hard for us to communicate. It's our job to know what we have to do, not only just knowing our offense, but knowing it without even really having to communicate clearly to each other."
Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.