Monday, August 27, 2007

Position by Position: Quarterbacks

Well, today I'll be starting a new "series" at The Dome. I'll be taking a look at the Saints position by position and ranking them against Madden 08's most assuredly accurate and astute observations and rankings of the same. Today's positional peek: Quarterbacks.

The quarterback is arguably the most recognized and followed figure on an NFL team. He's the cliche' field general, but that phrase is fairly accurate. When you think of how hard it must be to take a snap, run backwards for up to 7 steps, all while looking downfield and "progressing through your reads," then dodge 270 lb lindebackers and 330 lb defensive linemen all looking for that one chance they may get to decapitate you...avoid all those obstacles, and all the while assuming that all your linemen protect you from your doom, you still have to lead a pass to some woodenhead running at 15 mph followed/covered by one, two or three more woodenheads running at the same clip, and hit your woodenhead in the hands or right between the numbers. It just so happens that the Saints have one of the best guys in the business doing that for them.

Starter: #9 Drew Brees; Madden 08 rating of 95

All Drew did last year was solidify himself as one of the saviors of this franchise, while making a stand for being one of the best quarterbacks in all of football. He completed 356 of 554 passes (a 64.3 completion percentage) for 4,418 yards, 26 TD's and only 11 INT's for a 96.2 quarterback rating. Drew found reliable receivers in Marques Colston and Devery Henderson, but he also hit a multitude of targets during the season, spreading the ball around to Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister and all 73 of the guys who attempted to play tight end last season.

Drew has come to New Orleans and led this team on the field and off. He's been the biggest reason for this team's abrupt turnaround from worst to first, and has set the bar very high for the future of New Orleans Saints football. I know it's been noted of my shining, gooey mancrushes on Ryan Theriot and Thunder Matt Murton of the Cubs, but my one true love is Drew Brees. He's the proverbial "man" of this team, and as he goes, they go. Without him, we're screwed. Which leads me to...

Backup: #10 Jaime Martin; Madden 08 rating of 76

Well, Jaime Martin is pretty much the Anti Drew Brees. He's a statue in the pocket and has minimal armstrength. He has problems getting rid of the ball quickly, something Drew excels at. The Saints should be looking at alternatives to Jaime, because if Brees goes down with a long-term injury, Martin cannot be counted on to deliver anywhere close to the caliber of offensive production and consistency that Drew Brees can.

Third Team/Practice Squad: #3 Tyler Palko; Madden 08 rating of 66

Palko is an undrafted rookie free agent out of the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt Panthers) who will most certainly make the team as the emergency quarterback/practice squad quarterback. He's got a powerful left arm, can throw on the run, and is a rugged gamer who is very good at ad-libbing and making plays on the fly. Head coach Sean Payton must believe he can groom him as a solid back-up in the mold of Drew Brees, as Tyler possesses some of the traits Drew displays. If Palko had two or three years under his belt, he'd be ahead of Jaime Martin on the depth chart. However, with experience and reps, he could overtake Martin for the backup role at some point this year, and don't be surprised if he takes Martin's job for good next year.

So, there you have it. Our starting quarterback is a turf devouring sex tornado of awesomeness, and he can't be stopped. Lest he gets injured, the Saints should have a very good offensive season this year. Keep an eye peeled for the Saints to make a move for a backup at quarterback, as early as right before Opening Kickoff in Week 1. Up next in the "Position by Position" series, running backs, where I'll take a look at the wealth of talent on the roster for 2007.


erwhitey said...

Right on with that take on Martin. He's terrible. Personally I'd rather see you in there instead of him and I don't think I've seen you throw. That RB's article is sure to be about 3 pages long with all the guys that the Saints are carrying on the roster. They are flat loaded there.

In a Nutsack said...

I'm sure Jaime's a nice enough guy, but nice doesn't win ballgames. He's just not that reliable and I have no confidence in him.

At the running backs position, the Saints have a wealth of talent. From Reggie all the way down to Pierre Thomas, an undrafted free agent from Illinois.