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SmashMouth 07-30-2010 07:43 AM

Saints QB's
 
New Orleans Saints position series: Quarterback | NOLA.com

In anticipation of the New Orleans Saints upcoming training camp, we will be running a series of online position-by-position breakdowns with our bests guesses as to who will make the final 53-man roster. Along with these breakdowns, we will also run interactive polls so that the voice of Who Dat Nation can be heard.

Chris Granger/The Times-Picayune
Former Tulane quarterback Patrick Ramsey stands on a 4x4 piece of wood as he works on his balance while training with Mackie Shilstone on Tuesday at the Wilson Center.
While there isn't much drama at the top of the quarterback depth chart - if you haven't heard yet, Drew Brees may be the best quarterback in football - the battle for the backup position will be one of the more interesting subplots of this year's training camp. As we saw with the Tom Brady-Matt Cassell situation in New England in 2008, a viable backup at quarterback is an extremely valuable asset to any football team. If Brees were to (knock on wood) go down for any significant length of time, the fate of the 2010 season would rest squarely on this decision. Though the Saints don't have 1-B type option like Kerry Collins in Tennessee or Derek Anderson in Arizona, they do seem to have a few viable options.
The recent signing of former Tulane standout Patrick Ramsey could give the Saints a veteran presence behind Brees. Ramsey has played in nine NFL seasons, most notably for the Washington Redskins, where he started a total of 24 games from 2002 to 2005. The 6'2", 225-pound Ramsey does possess an adequately powerful arm and is known as a cerebral player. Unlike former veteran backup Mark Brunell, however, Ramsey has never been particularly successful in the NFL. He has thrown 30 interceptions with only 35 touchdowns and has a career quarterback rating of 74.9. He also hasn't seen any playing time since throwing three passes for the Broncos in 2008.
Another plausible candidate is the second-year man Chase Daniel, who drew Heisman consideration while at Missouri. At only 6'0", Daniel doesn't look like a prototypical NFL quarterback, but has received positive reviews for his fiery competitiveness and leadership abilities. Daniel also has an advantage over Ramsey in that, while Ramsey has more experience in the NFL, Daniel has more experience in Sean Payton's offensive system. Though he doesn't possess an elite NFL arm, Daniel is very accurate throwing the football. All of this sounds vaguely reminiscent of another undersized, underrated quarterback with excellent intangibles: Drew Brees. While obviously this comparison is a bit of a reach, Sean Payton has shown that he values these kinds of overachievers and could pick Daniel over Ramsey.
The fourth quarterback in training camp, the seventh-round pick Sean Canfield, probably looks the most like an NFL quarterback of anyone on the Saints roster. At 6'4", the traditional wisdom is that he has the size to see over the offensive line. Unfortunately, Canfield doesn't have the rocket of an arm that you would expect from a 6'4" quarterback, and struggled significantly during the team's OTAs. He is also left-handed, and while that fact is probably not a deal-breaker, it definitely doesn't help Canfield's case. If the Saints like what they see, the best-case scenario for Canfield is probably a spot on the practice squad.


I think they are right in Canfield's case, practice squad material. I'd like to see Chase's progress significantly increase.


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