Reviewing the Saints quarterback in 2016

Oct 2, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) looks to pass as San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Tourek Williams (58) pressures during the second quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

We will be reviewing the Saints roster as it currently stands leading to free agency and the draft.  First up will be the Saints Quarterbacks

Drew Brees

No playoffs, no Pro-Bowl and no talk whatsoever about Brees.  You’d think he had a down year in 2016. Think again.

Drew Brees quietly put up one of his most efficient seasons in his illustrious career in 2016.  He threw 37 touchdown passes, fourth most in his career.  5,208 yards which is fourth-best in NFL history.  Only in the great 2011 season he threw for more yards.  He also had a 70.0 completion percentage which is 8th best in the history of the NFL.

Two of the names ahead of him on that list are also named Drew Brees.  In fact, in his 11 years with the Saints I’d rank the 2016 season 3rd behind the record setting 2011 season and the 2009 Super Bowl season as Brees best with the Saints.

What else was good in 2016?  He led the league in passing yards with 5,208.  He was third in the league in touchdown passes with 37.  The only blemish on the season was a two game stretch in December where it mattered most vs Detroit and Tampa Bay.  Brees threw zero touchdowns and six interceptions.  Those two games were an outlier on an otherwise remarkable season.

Many Saints fans are calling for the heir to Brees to be drafted.  You should save your breath.  He doesn’t exist.  Brees is showing no signs of slowing down.  Tom Brady is a year older and nobody is calling for him to sit.  We’ll all know when it’s over.

And when it is, the Saints will have work to do.  Which is why we should enjoy Brees now playing at such a high level.  One last stat for you.  Brees currently has 66,111 career passing yards.  That’s is 5,829 yards behind Peyton Manning.  Which means at the pace he’s on and if  healthy Brees should break Manning record by Week 2, 2018.  He’s not going anywhere for a while.

Luke McCown

A solid veteran backup.  That’s the name given to any quarterback who floats around the league.  All 32 teams think they have a good backup.  That is until they have to play in a game.  Which leads to two conclusions.

1. We still have a good backup Quarterback.

2. We need a backup Quarterback.

Luke McCown had this test in 2015 versus the Panthers.  He played well.  Threw for 335 yards and a interception on the final play in the end zone which would of won the game.  If McCown wants to come back, the Saints should welcome him to compete for the backup job.

He’s a good locker room guy and currently a capable backup.  It won’t be known if he can still play until he’s in a game.  And if that’s the case it means number nine is not playing and the Saints are already in trouble.

Garrett Grayson

Cut for a roster spot early, picked back up and placed on the practice squad.  He remained there all season.  Not the route you want to take for a former third round pick.  Grayson had a poor preseason, couldn’t beat McCown out for the backup job.

This is a make or break year for Grayson.  You can be assured another Quarterback will be brought in either via draft or free agency to compete with him.  This offseason he has been working out with his former collegiate coach and current Florida coach Jim McElwain.  If that doesn’t work the Saints more likely then not will move on from former third rounder.

Next week: Running backs

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