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Brees move to Saints may raise Leinart option for Titans

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The way I see it they ought to throw a parade for Drew Brees in downtown Nashville, and not because the former San Diego quarterback signed with the Tennessee Titans but because he signed with the New Orleans Saints. Drew ...

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Old 03-19-2006, 09:35 PM   #1
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Brees move to Saints may raise Leinart option for Titans

The way I see it they ought to throw a parade for Drew Brees in downtown Nashville, and not because the former San Diego quarterback signed with the Tennessee Titans but because he signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Drew Brees sets many other parts in motion, including Matt Leinart.
If that doesn't make sense, follow me carefully.

The Saints are second in this year's draft. The Titans are third. The Saints were supposed to choose USC quarterback Matt Leinart. They signed Brees instead. Which means they don't draft Leinart, and Tennessee is on the clock.

So what's the big deal? Well, look at Leinart's 2003 season when he threw a Pac-10 record 38 touchdown passes, including one on his first career attempt. Now check out his 2004 performance when he had 33 touchdown passes and six interceptions, didn't lose a game and walked off with the Heisman Trophy.

His offensive coordinator then? Norm Chow. Uh, huh, the same Norm Chow who calls the plays for Tennessee now.

Chow has made it clear how much he'd love to coach Leinart again, and this just might be the opportunity. Sure, there's always the possibility that New Orleans trades away the second overall pick to someone salivating over Leinart, but there's always the possibility it doesn't, too.

Which means Chow has his wish.

Face it, New Orleans isn't drafting the guy after investing megabucks in Brees. The 27-year-old quarterback was on the market precisely because San Diego was in that predicament to begin with, spending a fortune on first-round draft pick Philip Rivers before Brees led the Bolts to their first division title in a decade.

Something had to give, and it did. It was Brees' right shoulder.

Injured in the 2005 season-finale against Denver, Brees became an uncertainty for the Chargers despite assurances by the surgeon who fixed him that he would be OK. Sure, he told them that Brees' injury was more extensive than first believed -- with the quarterback suffering a torn labrum and partially torn rotator cuff -- but he also told them that he expected Brees to play and to play "at a high level" this season.

That wasn't good enough for San Diego, which made Brees a multi-year offer, then retreated when he rejected it. Now the Chargers have made the people of Nashville very, very happy.

By exposing Brees to the open market they once again jimmied the draft. Two years ago it was Eli Manning they sent to another city. Now it's Leinart. Instead of New Orleans, it could be Nashville. Or Minneapolis. Oakland. The New York Jets. Phoenix. You name it. Expect the Saints to hear from anyone interested in trading up for a young quarterback.

Now, New Orleans could stay where it is and draft someone like, say, Virginia tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Or it could peddle the pick. What it won't do is invest it in Leinart because Drew Brees already is on the job.

doesn't matter that Brees might be a gamble. The Saints have a conviction in him, and they made it Tuesday. They won't know for months, maybe years, if they made the right decision. What they do know is that they just scratched Matt Leinart from their future.

So what does this mean for Tennessee? The Titans are in a better position than they were at this time a day ago. It looked then as if their choice of future quarterbacks was between Vince Young and Jay Cutler -- and it might wind up that way -- but now, at least, Matt Leinart is a real possibility.

Sure, Young seemed a better fit, largely because of his close relationship with Steve McNair, who is a father-like figure to the Texas quarterback and would be the ideal mentor. But Leinart is the better quarterback, the prototypical pocket passer who is accurate, poised, productive and successful -- with a 37-2 record at USC that included 34 straight wins.

Plus, there's that Norm Chow factor.

At last month's NFL scouting combine, Leinart compared himself to Tom Brady, basically saying that all he does is win. That's good enough for me, and you have to believe it's good enough for Tennessee -- provided, of course, they have a chance to draft the guy.

They do now, and Nashville should thank its lucky stars for Drew Brees.

http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/9307698
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