Tonight is 'Super Bowl' for Saints' Griffin

August, 28, 2014
Aug 28
8:00
AM ET
METAIRIE, La. -- Chances are, the New Orleans Saints have already decided on the backup quarterback job after evaluating veteran Luke McCown and second-year pro Ryan Griffin for the past four months. So I'm never sure exactly how much the fourth preseason games means to guys like that.

But Griffin himself made it clear that he'll be treating tonight's game against the Baltimore Ravens like it's as big as it gets -- which makes sense, considering the Saints are hoping to put both of their backup quarterbacks on the shelf for the next four months.

"For guys like me, first- or second-year guys, this is kind of our Super Bowl," Griffin said. "This is our season right now, so it's just a chance to go out and prove yourself and get better."

The Saints haven't announced their plans for the quarterback rotation tonight. I'm assuming Drew Brees won't play, but it is possible he could make a brief cameo. And I'm not sure whether McCown or Griffin would start in his place.

The only detail that coach Sean Payton revealed this week is that Griffin will get "a ton" of work in his final audition.

I also don't know which way the Saints are leaning in their backup quarterback battle. I've been picking Griffin on my 53-man roster all summer, because I think the two quarterbacks have been pretty even in practices and preseason games. And I've always assumed that a tie-breaker would go to Griffin because of his long-term potential and the fact that choosing him would allow New Orleans to keep only two quarterbacks on the roster.

But it's hard to ignore the signs pointing toward McCown. For one thing, McCown has played ahead of Griffin in all three preseason games so far, giving Griffin very little opportunity to work with the starting offense or play against starting defenses. For another thing, McCown has been used more frequently as the holder with both of the Saints' kicker candidates.

Regardless, I think Griffin will make the roster either way. And I think the Saints remain high on his potential as a long-term backup for Brees in the mold of former Saints backup Chase Daniel.

Perhaps Griffin has the potential to develop into a future starter as well. But I don't see Brees giving up his spot anytime soon, so Griffin will likely become a free agent before there's a job opening.

Griffin, an undrafted free agent from nearby Tulane in 2013, has performed well this summer, completing 37 of 56 passes (66.1 percent) for 404 yards, three touchdowns and one interception (plus another INT that was fortunately called back via penalty).

"I'm never satisfied," Griffin said when asked for a performance review. "No doubt there have been a lot of good things that have gone on this preseason but [I'm] definitely never satisfied. I've got to continue to execute. The big thing for me is going out there, relaxing, and just executing."

When asked if he thinks he's done enough for the coaches and decision-makers to trust him in the backup role, Griffin said, "My job is to show as much as I can. I'm sticking by that. They'll evaluate. That's their job. I'm just going to do the best that I can and leave it up to them."

Mike Triplett

ESPN New Orleans Saints reporter

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


Insider