The New Orleans Saints 2017 training camp is finally here. The team's rookies have already reported, and we are just days away from all hands on deck, when veterans report and the real work begins.
Leading up to training camp, Canal Street Chronicles will preview each of the Saints position groups, including new additions, and things to look for from each position. Today, we look at perhaps one of the easiest position groups to break down in the entire league:
The Lineup: Drew Brees, Chase Daniel, Garrett Grayson, Ryan Nassib
The 38-year-old Brees enters his 17th NFL season, and 12th as the Saints starting quarterback. Unless you are the king of pessimists or are on some outstanding hallucinogenic drugs, it is next to impossible to find any significant drop-off in Brees' play. His 5,208 passing yards in 2016 were the second-most of his career, and the 4th best of all-time. His 70% completion percentage last year was the third-best in his career, to go along with career highs in both attempts and completions, and his 37 touchdown passes were third highest in the league. Moreover, Brees seems to have the same passion and competitive fire for the game that he's always had, and actually looked somewhat rejuvenated playing with the young group of receivers the Saints had last season.
Chase Daniel was re-signed this past offseason, returning to the Saints on a one-year contract. The team elected to let go of backup Luke McCown and bring back the 30-year-old Daniel, who had previously served as Brees' backup from 2010-2012. Daniel's stints in Kansas City and Philadelphia did not see him develop into a starting-caliber quarterback, as some expected, but he does have knowledge of the Saints offensive system.
Garrett Grayson enters his third season with New Orleans. His lack of development has been disappointing to many, but he will have every opportunity to wrestle the number two job away from Daniel. The Saints also signed former Giants backup Ryan Nassib this offseason. Nassib, who starred at Syracuse under the coaching of former Saints offensive coordinator Doug Marrone, is expected to push Grayson, and with a good camp has an outside chance for the number two job.
Outlook: The Saints coaching staff will try to limit Brees' arm as much as they can, but the future Hall of Famer will want to continue to build the rapport with his younger receivers and backs, as well as veteran newcomers Adrian Peterson and Ted Ginn Jr. New Orleans still does not have a definitive succession plan in place for the day when Brees no longer lines up under center; if you think that Daniel is that player, then I really urge you to get more sleep at night, it's affecting your judgement.
Daniel is certainly the favorite to open the season as the Saints No. 2 signal caller, but don't be completely shocked if he's unseated by Grayson or even Nassib if they have outstanding preseasons. The Saints are a good bet to keep just two quarterbacks, but in the event they keep three, then the Grayson vs. Nassib battle will be worth watching.
Drew Brees will retire in a Saints uniform, so any question of if or when he becomes a free agent should be ignored. The other question of what will the team do when he does retire can be a hotly debated topic, since no visible plan is in place. Those are subjects for another day. For now, the Saints still revolve around the talents of Drew Brees, and as long as that's the case the New Orleans Saints have one of the better quarterback situations in the league.
Who wins the Saints No. 2 quarterback job?
This poll is closed