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HARSH REALITY: The Saints Are Screwed This Coming Season If Anything Bad Happens to Drew Brees

After the New Orleans Saints' very disappointing Pre-Season Week #2 loss to the Arizona Cardinals last night, here’s the question you have to ask yourself as a Saints fan this morning, which is:

How confident are you that IF something were to happen to Drew Brees (God forbid), that either back-up QB's Taysom Hill or Tom Savage could take over and lead the Saints to the NFL Playoffs and hopefully all the way to the Super Bowl?

If you just laughed out loud, then you’re probably not alone.

But what isn’t funny is that the Saints are screwed if anything bad happens to Brees.

Now truth be told: that's ALWAYS been the case for New Orleans — but last night it was never more evident, as both QB's turned in less-than-stellar performances that should be sending an alarm this morning to the team's coaching staff, that they have a shaky-at-best back-up QB situation.

Photo courtesy of Butch Dill, The Associated Press

Hill took a step (or two) backward last night against the Cardinals. The talented and athletic 2nd-year QB from Brigham Young University made a name for himself on special teams last season, but he killed the “good vibes” from his performance last week with four turnovers in the first half alone — as Arizona took a 17-3 lead at the half.

Hill threw an interception on his 3rd pass attempt of the game after he had driven the Saints offense to the Arizona 30-yard line with their first possession.Then on the Saints’ 2nd possession as they had driven all the way down to the Arizona 35, Hill fumbled it and the Cardinals recovered.

On the next series after that one, he got picked off yet again. Hill then drove the Saints offense to the Arizona 13, but then he fumbled to Arizona — again.

But yet he STILL managed to show why the Saints coaching staff are so in love with his undeniable athletic ability, and the potential to be a dual-threat player as both a passer and a runner / scrambler, in the mold of a player such as former San Francisco 49ers QB legend Steve Young.

On a 3rd down and long, Hill scrambled down the left sideline for a 43-yard gain, while showcasing the speed and athleticism that makes him a player that the team envisions as a future NFL starter some day.

Photo courtesy of Michael C, Hebert

In the end, Hill finished 11 of 15 for 68 yards, but clearly the biggest takeaway is that he is NOT ready to be a starting QB in the NFL with that type of ball security. On top of that, he still has issues with timing and accuracy.

Savage started the 2nd half and played the 3rd quarter and half of the 4th quarter, and the 5th year veteran actually did okay stats-wise, finishing 6 of 7 for 53 yards.

But he too had ball security issues when he was hit from behind and fumbled the ball down near their own goal line that the Saints were very fortunate to recover at the 1 yard line. The Saints punted it away on the next play.

He followed that up on the very next series with a 3-and-out drive in which he took a coverage sack on 3rd down, that forced another Thomas Morstead punt.

To his credit, he did manage to direct two drives that ended with field goals.

But Savage still has some other less-than-desirable traits such as holding on to the ball too long and is prone to making poor decisions, and also because he misses open throws that you would expect a now 5th-year veteran NFL quarterback to be able to make.

(Photo by David Grunfeld, | The Times-Picayune)

For a player that the Saints gave a 1 year, $1.5 million contract to this past off-season, that money seemingly could  have been spent better on someone else.

Let's be perfectly honest: no one wants to see Brees get hurt, and the Saints have been very fortunate that with the lone exception of 1 single game that he missed at Carolina in Week #3 of the 2015 Season with a bruised throwing shoulder, that he hasn't missed any significant time in what will be his 13th season in New Orleans.

But last night, the harsh reality of their current back-up QB situation was never more evident.

For now, Savage would appear to be the designated #2 QB over Hill unless New Orleans decides to start looking elsewhere for Brees’ primary back-up; although a trade for a player such as New York Jets back-up QB Teddy Bridgewater is likely out of the question since the Saints have ALREADY traded away next year's top 2019 NFL Draft pick away to the Green Bay Packers — to move up and select defensive end Marcus Davenport (who's yet to even see any game action because of an injury).

Photo courtesy of New York Newsday

There's no way in Hell that the Jets would trade Bridgewater for anything less than a early round pick, and the Saints would have to wait until next year's Free Agency signing period to even have the chance at bringing him to New Orleans.

Bottom line: the New Orleans Saints are screwed if anything bad happens to Drew Brees this season; and it's a harsh reality that will continually will be an underlying theme of their upcoming 2018 NFL season.

Let's hope that for all concerned parties involved, that it doesn't ever come to that point.......


Big Easy Magazine contributing writer and Saints News Network columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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