Drafting an Heir Apparent for Drew Brees

To Mentor May Not Be
The Best Plan Fans of the New Orleans Saints have been clamoring for their team
to draft a replacement for quarterback Drew Brees in hopes that the future Hall
of Famer will be able to mentor him. That strategy seems sound Womens
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, and could make the day when number 9 finally
calls it a career slightly less painful. A closer peak at history reveals that
the student/mentor strategy hasn't paid dividends often, and can sometimes even
cause the incumbent to be uncomfortable or create an uneasy atmosphere through
the team. Earlier this spring, reports out of Pittsburgh were that Steelers
quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was incredibly unhappy that his team used a 3rd
round pick to draft Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph instead of spending
it on a position of need for the AFC contenders. We take a look at a few Hall of
Fame quarterbacks whose teams drafted another signal caller highly during their
tenure, using the draft's first three rounds as a scale. Roger Staubach and
Danny White (Dallas Cowboys)Photo by George Rose/Getty ImagesStaubach's
retirement in 1979 due to concussions and mounting injuries came as a surprise
to some Cowboy faithful. He was still playing near the top of his game, and
Dallas had a veteran roster still capable of competing for a title. White, a 3rd
round pick in 1974 from Arizona State, stepped in and played well initially. He
would go 62-30 as a starter in his career, with a completion percentage of
59.7%, 155 touchdowns and 132 interceptions. White's finest moment came during
the 1980 playoffs, when he led a stirring come from behind 30-27 victory on the
road at Atlanta, invoking memories of Staubach himself. Ultimately, it was
White's postseason failures that doomed him with Dallas fans. Despite 3 straight
trips to the NFC Championship game from 1980-'82, he was never able to lead his
team to the Super Bowl. He finished with a 5-5 career postseason record,
throwing 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. An aging Cowboy team missed the
playoffs for the first time in over a decade in 1984, and despite returning to
the playoffs the next year, White would lose his starting job by the end of the
1986 season, and never quite lived up to the lofty expectations of "America's
Team".Terry Bradshaw and Mark Malone (Pittsburgh Steelers)Photo by Rick
Stewart/Getty ImagesBradshaw, like Staubach, was still playing at a high level
when an elbow injury forced the end of his career by 1983. Pittsburgh used the
28th pick of the 1st round in 1980 to select Malone from Arizona State. The
Steelers were coming off back to back Super Bowl championships and four titles
in the previous six years, but were an aging team in decline. Malone's finest
moment came not as a quarterback, but as a wideout, when in 1981 he caught a
90-yd. touchdown pass from Bradshaw. It was a team record that stood until 2011.
Despite being a former number one draft choice, Malone was unable to win the
starting job in 1983 when Bradshaw was out with injury, losing out to Cliff
Stoudt. When Stoudt left Pittsburgh for the U.S.F.L. in 1984, Malone took over
starting duties. He led the Steelers to the AFC Central title, and upset the
Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium in the playoffs before falling to the Miami
Dolphins in the AFC Championship game. Malone would be benched multiple times
after that year, leaving Pittsburgh after the '87 season, and by 1989 would be
out of the league. He went just 21-24 as a starter, completing only 50% of his
passes, and threw 68 interceptions against just 54 touchdowns during his
Steelers career. John Elway and Tommy Maddox (Denver Broncos)Elway was
reportedly incensed when the Broncos used their number 1 draft choice in 1992,
the 25th overall, to pick Maddox from U.C.L.A. Elway was a year removed from an
AFC Championship game appearance, his fourth trip to the game in six years to go
along with 3 Super Bowl appearances. But, his relationship with coach Dan Reeves
was severely strained Womens
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, and Reeves' selection of Maddox fueled
rumors that Elway would be on the trading block. When the Broncos icon was
injured during the '92 season, Maddox was given the opportunity to start 4
games. He was 0-4 in those contests, completing 54% of his passes while throwing
9 interceptions with just 5 touchdowns. Reeves was fired after the season, and
Maddox was traded to the L.A. Rams in 1994, only to be out of the league by '95
without starting another game. He did return to the NFL with the Pittsburgh
Steelers in 2001 with some success, while Elway went on to win two Super Bowls
with the Broncos in the late 1990's. Elway and Brian Griese (Denver
Broncos)Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty ImagesElway did finally retire following the
1998 season, and Denver turned the starting reigns over to Griese, a 3rd round
pick from Michigan the year before. Griese had a solid statistical career with
Denver, averaging 221 yards per game passing, completing over 62% of his passes,
and throwing 71 touchdown passes with just 53 interceptions. He earned a Pro
Bowl berth in 2000, the only year the Broncos went to the playoffs during his
tenure as a starter. Griese was unable to stay healthy however, starting just 51
of 62 games, with just a 27-24 record despite a talented offense around him.
Griese's inconsistent play, along with a reportedly poor relationship with
teammates, led to his release from Denver after the 2002 season. Steve Young and
Jim Druckenmiller (San Francisco 49ers)The 49ers got lucky when they made a deal
for Young over a decade earlier. Ultimately, they were able to replace one
future Hall of Famer (Joe Montana) with another in Young, who won multiple
league M.V.P. awards, led the 49ers to three straight NFC championship games
(four total) and a Super Bowl victory.With Young's career winding down, San
Francisco used it's 1st round pick on Jim Druckenmiller from Virginia Tech in
1997, the 26th overall selection, in hopes that history would repeat itself.
Druckenmiller would get his first, and only, career start in the second game of
the 1997 season with Young sidelined by injury. The 49ers defeated the Rams
15-12, but the rookie was unimpressive, completing just 10 of 28 passes for only
102 yards, 3 interceptions, and his only career touchdown pass. Druckenmiller
would see action in 3 more games that year as Young's backup, finishing the year
21-52 (40.4% completion percentage), for 239 yards, 1 touchdown and 4
interceptions. It would be the last time Druckenmiller would throw a pass in an
NFL regular season game. The former 1st rounder was traded to the Miami Dolphins
at the beginning of the 1999 season for a mere 7th round pick, and he was out of
the NFL by the following summer, although he did attempt an unsuccessful
comeback in 2003Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay Packers)Ken Blaze-USA
TODAY Sports....okay, this one worked out pretty well....Favre was still playing
at a consistent Pro Bowl level for Green Bay at 36-yrs. old when Cal star
Rodgers fell to them as the 24th pick in the 1st round of the 2005 draft.
Rodgers served as Favre's backup for three seasons Womens
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, but reports were that the two barely
spoke. When Favre began his "retirement" soap opera after the 2007 season, the
Packers would turn the starting job over to Rodgers. After a losing record in
his first year, Rodgers has yet to have a losing record (94-48) as a starter
since. He has thrown for 313 career touchdown passes, averaged 258 yards per
game, and has a league MVP, Super Bowl championship, and Super Bowl MVP to his
credit. Rodgers is one of the premier players in the NFL, and will be a certain
Hall of Famer upon his own retirement. Peyton Manning and Brock Osweiler (Denver
Broncos)Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty ImagesDenver signed Manning as a free
agent in 2012 following his multiple neck surgeries and subsequent release from
Indianapolis. The uncertainty surrounding Manning's return to form caused the
Broncos to use the 57th overall pick (2nd round) to draft Osweiler, a four year
starter at Arizona State. Manning of course recovered quite nicely, achieving
historic numbers in the Denver offense from 2012-'14. When Manning's skills
deteriorated rapidly in 2015, Osweiler was given his first opportunity to start
when Payton was sidelined by injury. He responded by going 5-2 as a starter,
completing nearly 62% of his passes with 10 touchdowns and 6 interceptions.
Manning was inserted back into the starting lineup in the playoffs for the
Broncos, riding the strength of an incredible defense to a Super Bowl 50 title,
and Osweiler departed as a free agent to Houston after the season. After a poor
season with the Texans, Osweiler was traded to the Cleveland Browns in 2017, but
was released during the preseason and ended up back with the Broncos. He would
start four games for Denver last season, going 0-4 while throwing 5 touchdowns
and 5 interceptions. Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty ImagesThe Saints drafted
Garrett Grayson from Colorado State in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft. He did
not throw a pass in either of his two regular seasons with New Orleans, but had
not developed how the team had hoped and was subsequently released prior to last
season. New Orleans has a talented roster that many believe is capable of
competing for a championship now. Drew Brees has shown very little decline in
his abilities, and is still one of the top quarterbacks in the league. Sean
Payton and the Saints front office have instead used their draft picks to fill
positions of immediate need over the last three drafts. The results have brought
players like Michael Thomas, Vonn Bell, Marshon Lattimore, Alvin Kamara, Ryan
Ramczyk, Sheldon Rankins, and Marcus Williams into starting spots, as well as a
number of others into key supporting roles for a championship contender. History
shows that effectively replacing a legend like Brees will not be easy, and may
actually take years to accomplish. The New Orleans Saints have instead chosen to
put the talent around their future Hall of Fame quarterback, hoping to make a
run at another Super Bowl or two. Saints NewsSaints' Payton focuses on
accountability after stunning loss | Football | stltoday.comMETAIRIE, La. (AP) —
Saints coach Sean Payton spent the first part of Monday urging players and his
own coaching staff to acknowledge everything they did wrong heading into aCoach
Sean Payton gives day-after assessment of New Orleans Saints'Today has got to be
a day where we're willing to shoulder and not deflect'Alvin Kamara's workload
vs. Bucs didn't go as planned | NOLA.comRunning back only rushed eight times
despite playing a career-high number of snaps.Saints get to work fixing
technique issues after tough film study | NOLA.comPayton on defensive film:
'There weren't a lot of positives'NFL Week 2 odds: New Orleans Saints heavy
favorites despite loss | NOLA.comTake a look at the NFL's Week 2 oddsSaints
score 40, and still lose in unprecedented fashion to Tampa Bay – The AthleticThe
Saints' offense proved that it can still be one of the best in the NFL. But the
defense? It's going to need some work.Saints' Payton focuses on accountability
after stunning loss | Football | stltoday.comMETAIRIE, La. (AP) — Saints coach
Sean Payton spent the first part of Monday urging players and his own coaching
staff to acknowledge everything they did wrong heading into aCoach Sean Payton
gives day-after assessment of New Orleans Saints'Today has got to be a day where
we're willing to shoulder and not deflect'Alvin Kamara's workload vs. Bucs
didn't go as planned | NOLA.comRunning back only rushed eight times despite
playing a career-high number of snaps.Saints get to work fixing technique issues
after tough film study | NOLA.comPayton on defensive film: 'There weren't a lot
of positives'NFL Week 2 odds: New Orleans Saints heavy favorites despite loss |
NOLA.comTake a look at the NFL's Week 2 oddsSaints Off The Field:Saints players
attend Kenner rally protesting Nike ban: report | NOLA.comCam Jordan and Terron
Armstead were interviewed at Susan Park Playground Monday afternoon.Around The
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