We all remember the good times. The Super Bowl victory, the reinvigoration of the city, the constant playoff appearances, the division wins, the prolific offense. We can’t help but remember them, arguably the best time to be a Saints fan in the team’s long history.
But, these are not those same good times.
After two straight losing seasons, the Saints have gone back to what they were long ago: simply put, bad. And it has the potential to get much, much worse. The writing is on the wall the Brees/Payton era is all but over, with Brees’ body now showing signs of wear and tear and constant reports surfacing that Payton is being courted by other teams. It is only inevitable that the mastermind behind one of the NFL’s most prolific offense’s in history dons the colors of a new team and with that change comes the very concerning question of where the Saints go next. But, more pressing than the coach jumping ship to a new squad is the matter of the QB position.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for, well, ever, you know that the quarterback position is THE most important position in the game of football. Poor QB play equals poor team play. The Saints have not had poor QB play by any means (Brees still threw for over 4,800 yards last year) but there are concerns. He sometimes looks as if he’s just one step behind the defense, something that rarely happened back in the day. Some of the typical Drew Brees-type throws haven’t been connecting and that worries a lot of people.
The Saints are falling behind in an offense-heavy NFC South. Think of the young, talented QB’s in that division. Cam, Matt Ryan, Jameis. And not that Brees isn’t just as good, if not better, but there’s one thing they are he isn’t: young, which is a problem.
When you look at the bigger picture, not only do the Saints have an aging QB who may be losing his touch, but they also don’t have a reliable second-stringer who can take the reigns and put the Saints back in contention for a playoff spot. Matt Flynn has thrown all of 8 passes in two years and, while he’s played behind another great QB in Aaron Rodgers, he hasn’t proved to be a reliable answer. We don’t even know what Garrett Grayson is even capable of, but, if his college stats are any indicator, he has potential to be very good, he just needs a shot.
It’s safe to say there is no quarterback controversy in New Orleans, but should there be? It’s the age old question of do you let the veteran play till he can’t play any longer, or do you go with the youth movement? It’s a sticky situation for all parties involved.
Keep in mind, I mean no disrespect to Drew. He’s not only an all-time great QB, but he’s a great family man and a great leader. I hope the Saints figure it out this off-season and get back to the playoffs and I hope Drew has another stellar season and stays healthy. But, I also think that it’s not a bad idea to start looking forward to the future. Sometimes, you just have to turn the page to the next chapter.