Last year Mark Brunell and Chase Daniel had Drew Brees' back. This year the Saints' backup quarterback position is wide open. (Source: YardBarker.com)

New Orleans Saints (Backup) Quarterback Controversy

One of the most unpredictable position battles in this year’s training camp will be for the backup quarterback slot. While it is obvious that Drew Brees will hold down the starting job, Saints fans are wondering who will spend the year holding down the clipboard (and field goals). Let’s take a look at the three most likely candidates.
November 29, 2008: Missouri Quarterback #10 CHASE DANIEL throws a pass during the NCAA Football

1. Chase Daniel (The Front-Runner):

Daniel has been impressive throughout the off-season workouts. Earning praise from both Head Coach Sean Payton and Starting Quarterback/Mentor Drew Brees. Daniel is gunning for the number two spot so lets break down what he brings to the position.

Pros -  

  • System familiarity: Daniel had most of last year to familiarize himself with the Saints’ playbook and personnel. He also developed a strong relationship with Drew Brees and actively seeks out his knowledge and advice.
  • Daniel is an undersized quarterback from east-central Texas who led his high school football team to a 5-A State Title, was overlooked by the University of Texas, signed with a smaller college program and became All-American who led his team to unprecedented success. The Saints’ haven’t had a quarterback with a pedigree like that since…Drew Brees.

Cons -

  • Lack of Experience. Daniel lacks experience at the NFL level. Although he was on the active roster for eight games last year, he never saw any action in the regular season.
  • Daniel might have a a lot in common with number 9 but he is not Drew Brees.

 

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 3: Quarterback Sean Canfield #5 of the Oregon State Beavers throws apass against the USC Trojans on November 3, 2007 at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
 

2. Sean Canfield (The Project):

Canfield was drafted by the Saints in the 7th round of this year’s draft. The southpaw out of Oregon State is looked at by many to be a new project for Head Coach Sean Payton.
Canfield possesses the physical tools to be an NFL quarterback but will need time to adjust to the NFL game as he clearly struggled during the recent rookie camp and mini-camp practices.
He continues to work hard and by most accounts has become much more comfortable with the system in recent weeks.

Pros-

  • When it comes to quarterbacks, Sean Canfield certainly looks the part. He stands at 6’4″ and weighs in at 223lbs.
  • Canfield is intelligent and accurate. Two qualities that are essential to success in the Saints’ system.

Cons -

  • There are questions surrounding Canfield’s arm strength. Most scouts reported that while his arm is accurate he has below average arm strength.
  • While Daniel lacks game experience at the NFL level, Canfield lacks any experience at the NFL level. He also is faced with the daunting task of learning the Saints’ complex system.

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 12: Quarterback Patrick Ramsey #11 of the Washington Redskins passes the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the game at Fed Ex Field on December 12, 2004 in Landover, Maryland. The Eagles defeated the Redskins 17-14. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

3. Patrick Ramsey (The Sleeper) :

Although nothing has been confirmed by the Saints rumor has it that Ramsey has a hand shake deal in place to join the team before training camp starts in late July.
Ramsey, a Tulane graduate, hails from Ruston Louisiana and is currently a free agent.

Pros -

  • Eight years of experience in the NFL with five different teams, has started 24 games in his career.
  • A big arm. Ramsey’s arm-strength has never been questioned at the NFL level.
  • Size. Ramsey is a prototypical quarterback. He stands 6’2″ and weighs 225.

Cons -

  • While Ramsey does have NFL experience he does not have experience with the Saints’ system so he will have to learn quickly to have any real chance at cracking the roster.
  • Ramsey is not overly mobile.While he can move around a little he prefers to stand tall in the pocket and deliver the ball downfield.

One of the many decisions the coaching staff will make this offseason will be who is our new Drew Brees insurance policy.

Right now it appears that Chase Daniel is in the lead. However, I look for the Saints to sign Ramsey in late July and believe that when the season starts Ramsey’s NFL experience will be the difference and the coaches will make him our new number two.

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Tags: Chase Daniel Drew Brees New Orleans Saints Patrick Ramsey Sean Canfield

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