This week I'm going to be talking about the most important position on the field, the Quarterback. Drew Brees has changed the Saints forever. Before Brees fortunately came to New Orleans due to his injury, the Saints' last 3 Quarterbacks were as follows: Aaron Brooks, Jeff Blake, and Billy Joe Tolliver. Before Brees came, the Saints were awful for the most part. He changed the fortunes of the franchise and the city forever.
As all you know, Brees was injured in the last regular season game of 2005. He got stripped of the ball and when trying to recover the fumble a lineman landed on his shoulder, causing a catastrophic injury. When he was able to come back the Chargers made him an offer, but it was not enough to keep #9 in San Diego. Thankfully for the Saints when he was a Free Agent, the Miami Dolphins courted him but dropped out of the race because the team doctors were unsure of the durability of his reconstructed shoulder. He signed with the Saints with a 6-year, 60-million dollar contract and the rest is history. Since Drew Brees has been the starting quarterback for the Saints, the club went from 1-5 in the playoffs to a record of 6-8 overall. Not an amazing record, but it's lightyears ahead of where the club was before #9 got here.
In 2012 the city's favorite player had a down year. Many speculate as to what brought about the unusual spectacle that was his spotty play. Whether it be a simple explanation such as the offense just not clicking, or a more examined theory such as Sean Payton not being there. In my opinion, it's a little bit of both. Brees had a down year partly because him and Coach Payton are so tied at the hip that chemistry almost seemed like it never existed in the building, especially after the atrocious 0-4 start. Payton doesn't only bring a lot of football knowledge with him that makes him a great head coach, he brings discipline to a team that seems like it lost focus many times during the season. The other reason is that I believe Brees was trying to compensate for Payton not being there by doing too much on the field. Brees had a tendency to force passes to receivers that were not as open as they could have or should have been, and a lot of the times, he paid the price for it. With a very unusually high total number of interceptions (19), Brees often felt the repercussions of his actions in the form of points off turnovers. With a historically awful defense Drew Brees could not afford to make mistakes but sometimes they're just unavoidable. Aside from the unusual number of picks from Mr. Brees I felt that he played pretty well the majority of the season. He had to pretty much carry this team on his back and that he did well. He never gave up when the Saints were 0-4 and he about brought them to a very late-season playoff berth that would have happened, I feel, if we had gotten some much-needed help.
Switching to the other quarterback of the team, Chase Daniel, I like what I see from him so far. He hasn't made many appearances in the regular season, but I like what I see from #10. I feel he's learning a lot from Brees as to how the nuances of the game works, and if the Saints can keep up the amount of weapons they've had since recent memory, I think Chase Daniel can flourish partly because he seems like a smart kid. Coming out of Mizzou in 2009 as an undrafted free agent, the Saints got him from the Redskins at the beginning of the 2009 season. I think he would be a viable backup to Drew Brees in case anything ever happened to Brees. I've seen him work in the preseason, and he's pretty good at reading defenses and finding his target in a soft spot of the defense. Not only do I think he's one of the best backups the Saints have had in a very long time (if not ever), I think he has the potential to be the future face of this franchise from what I've seen him do first-hand. I like Chase a lot and I'm excited to see what he can do as a starting Quarterback in the league, whether it be with the Saints, or with another team.
As a fan base I think we can all be optimistic about the current state of the quarterback position. Not only do the Saints have an elite franchise quarterback now in Drew Brees, they also have prospects of having a potential franchise quarterback in Chase Daniel. That makes two franchise quarterbacks that may have ended up being good NFL starters, something the Saints have never really had.