Who’s Up Next?
Aug 13, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Luke McCown (7) throws during the first quarter against the Baltimore Ravens in a preseason NFL football game at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
The current depth that the Saints have with backup Luke McCown and Garrett Grayson would be the carryover into 2017, should the Saints be Brees-less.
McCown showed in the game versus the Carolina Panthers in Week 3 of last season, that he could still “shine” when he got his chance to fill in for an injured Brees.
He completed 81.6% of his passes that day for 310 yards with zero touchdowns, and his lone interception came on the final play; where he was trying to squeeze a ball into receiver Brandin Cooks over then-Panthers cornerback Josh Norman.
It soured a comeback attempt for the Saints as well as for McCown; who hadn’t seen that much action as a quarterback since 2011 when he was with the Jacksonville Jaguars — where he had more yards in one game last season than he did in four games with the Jags.
All Verizon jokes aside, while McCown is likely a great backup generator plan for the Saints, he’s not a long-term one as a starter.
Grayson is still somewhat of a mystery considering we’ve heard zero about the 2015 third round pick and it raised a few eyebrows when the Saints signed Griffin Neal to a three-year contract in April.
The Saints normally bring a fourth quarterback to camp with them but the three year contract suggested that Neal could have been sticking around for a while.
However, the former German league product didn’t last long and was released just last week to make room for tryout players following the rookie mini-camp.
Nov 8, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Garrett Grayson (18) before a game against the Tennessee Titans at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Grayson has been dubbed the ‘successor’ to Brees but the only action he’s seen was in preseason last year; where he got progressively worse starting with a 66.7% completion rate in his first game that dipped to 42.1% by the final game against the Green Bay Packers.
Grayson finished with two interceptions and zero touchdowns in four appearances.
I was in favor of “throwing him into the mix” in the Panthers game, but in hindsight it would likely have been a major catastrophic blowout in Carolina’s favor, and no telling what it would have done to Grayson’s confidence moving forward.
The Saints believed enough in him to use a third round pick which at the time was unheard of for the franchise; who up until then hadn’t used a draft pick on a quarterback since Sean Canfield in 2010 (and that was a 7th round selection).
Training camp may prove that Grayson has progressed outside of the current scope we’re seeing him in and he’s still going into only his second year, but as far as a security blanket for the departure of Brees?
That’s not too comforting.
Next: Is There 'Another Brees' Available In Free Agency?