One of the more intriguing training camp battles this off-season will be among the three quarterbacks vying to become Drew Brees’ next backup.
Former backup Mark Brunell clearly was not the answer after a pitiful showing last season when he took over Brees to close out the year after the Saints had acquired a play-off berth and home field advantage throughout post-season play.
Brunell most likely will be a mentor for young Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez for the the foreseeable future, apparently Rex Ryan wants an old vet to school the second year pro.
Currently the Saints have two young quarterbacks on the roster, second year man Chase Daniel and their seventh round draft choice Sean Canfield.
It seems imminent that the Saints will add a third QB into the mix for the backup spot as well agreeing in principle with free agent veteran Patrick Ramsey who should be joining the team before the start of training camp July 29th.
The leaves Daniel, Canfield and Ramsey all competing for the same spot.
Contributing writer Jason Harbison analyzed the situation nicely in his article “New Orleans Saints (Backup) Quarteback Controversy” and seems to think that Ramsey will win out because of his experience in the NFL.
I tend to disagree with Jason and think that Chase Daniel will assume the job with authority while Ramsey will be the third quarterback on the roster. As for Canfield he is destined to learn the ropes as a member of the practice squad.
Here is why Chase Daniel will be a Brees of a Backup in 2010:
- Daniel is now entering his second year inside the Saints complicated offense clearly giving him and advantage over Canfield and Ramsey both who are starting from scratch in Sean Payton’s play book.
- If the Saints didn’t believe that Daniel could possibly be the successor to Drew Brees they would not have released and resigned him six times during the season last year.
- Daniel can make all the throws whether short, long, or in between proven by his college record. In four seasons at Missouri he threw for 12,515 yards, 101 touchdowns to only 41 interceptions with a career passer rating of 148.95 and completion percentage of 68%.
- Clearly the stats are impressive but so are the accolades; 2x Heisman Trophy candidate and finalist, 2006 ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District, 2007-08 Big 12 Male Athlete of the Year, 2007 First Team All-Big 12, 2007 Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, 2007 Maxwell Award semifinalist, 2008 Draddy Trophy runner-up among many, many more.
- Brees has taken Daniel under his wing and has been mentoring him throughout the off-season. If Brees will vouch for you that says allot.
- Daniel is a fiery competitor and is absolutely dead set on becoming Brees’ backup. That kind of work ethic and determination goes along way with the coaching staff.
- He has proven that he can handle the speed of the game at the pro level appearing on a limited basis during the Redskins pre-season games in 2009 fairing very well completing 14 of 24 passes for 143 yards, three touchdowns to no interceptions.
So how did he go undrafted? Well NFL scouts will tell you Daniel lacks the elite arm strength to make it at the pro level and is a relatively small for a quarterback standing 5 foot 11 “ish” (although most stats you can find have him at six foot).
Remind you of someone? That’s right, four time Pro-Bowl quarterback Drew Brees who was also looked down upon for his smaller stature and questionable arm strength, you see how that has panned out.
The similarities between Brees and Daniel have already landed him with a nickname that looks like it will stick, from hence forth he will be known by Saints fans as “Baby Brees”.
Drew is clearly the best quarterback in the league today and Daniel his protege destined for a bigger role with the Saints in the future — for “Baby Brees” that future is now as the new backup quarterback.