The Future of the NEW ORLEANS Saints Rides on This Guy
Well, here he is. The next New Orleans Saints quarterback. All I can say is good luck. I hope you know what you're in for. Literally speaking, the future of this franchise rests on you. You'd better be ready for it. It may not be fair, but if you fail miserably, you will be the scapegoat, fans will stop coming, and the team will move to Los Angeles. But enough of the worst case scenario.
The Saints did what they had to do. They are not wasting any more time on Aaron Brooks. They are getting a respected quarterback with a proven track record. It's about time. When is the last time the Saints have had a Pro-Bowl caliber quarterback in his prime (Jim Everett and Ken Stabler do not count)? Maybe the 6 weeks of Kerry Collins in the Ditka era, but he clearly sandbagged because he had personal problems and didn't want to be here anyway.
As I said in an earlier post, I don't think that this is a slam dunk by any stretch. It's probably the best move they could make, considering that trading for Culpepper was never really a credible option. So let's look at the signing from its good and bad points:
1. Drew Brees is a Pro-Bowl quarterback: That has already been discussed, and the Saints haven't had one of these since Archie Manning was at his peak.
2. Drew Brees is a winner: This guy made winners out of both Purdue and the San Diego Chargers. Neither team was close to competitive before he got there. Purdue is already back at the bottom of the Big 10, 5 years after he left. Remember, the Chargers were a joke of a franchise at least on the level of the Saints 2 years ago. We all remember the Eli incident. Well, he led that team to the playoffs.
3. Drew Brees does not make mistakes: His touchdown-to-interception is outstanding. Apparently he does not force the ball, try to be a hero, and make stupid mistakes. Of course, if he can break the huddle before the play clock runs out, he would be an improvement over Aaron Brooks.
1. Drew Brees is coming off of major shoulder surgery: The national media is speculating that this is why Miami backed off and traded for Daunte Culpepper. And if you think that a quarterback with a shredded knee is a safer pick than a quarterback with a bad shoulder, you must have serious reservations. The national media is also saying that it is questionable if Brees will be ready for training camp.
2. Drew Brees is not a "prototype" quarterback: Drew Brees is not 6'5". Drew Brees does not have a cannon for an arm (even before the surgery). But then again, Tom Brady and Joe Montana weren't "prototype" quarterbacks either. And if you don't think Brees belongs in this category, neither were Bobby Hebert and Jake Delhomme.
3. Drew Brees played in a conservative offense: Marty Schottenheimer was his coach. This is probably why he didn't make mistakes. Ladainian Tomlinson caught 100 passes from Brees 2 years ago. And Antonio Gates was his most dependable pass catcher. The Saints don't have a go-to guy at tight end. The Saints haven't had a running back that has caught tons of passes since Tony Galbreath. So Brees will probably have to learn to adjust his game to the Saints' strength--their wide receivers.
4. Drew Brees will be under lots of pressure: You can say that it's unfair, but as I said before, whether the Saints survive and fluorish in New Orleans depends on whether Brees and the Saints can win right away. The city can't afford to lose fan support early on, because ownership and the NFL are looking for the first excuse to get the hell out. Last year, we asked Aaron Brooks to carry the hopes of the team and the city on his shoulders, and he predictably failed miserably. The good thing is that it sounds like Brees knows what he is in for, and isn't afraid.
So good luck, Drew Brees. I pray that you are the man. So are thousands of other Gulf Coast residents. If you can save the team, you will forever have our gratitude.