The Big Question: Brees' backup?

May, 11, 2010
5/11/10
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NFC Big Question: East | West | North | South AFC: East | West | North | South

Who will be Drew Brees' backup in New Orleans this year?

Mark Brunell
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesThe Saints' backup quarterback last season, Mark Brunell, is still a free agent.
My guess is that quarterback isn’t even on the roster yet. Yes, the Saints took a long look at several quarterbacks in their recent rookie camp. They brought in Syracuse’s Greg Paulus and seventh-round pick Sean Canfield also took part. Paulus is a former Duke basketball player who played only one year of college football. At best, he’s a developmental prospect. Maybe he spends some time on the practice squad.

Canfield also is a prospect. He was a seventh-round pick and it’s unrealistic to expect him to start off as anything more than a No. 3 quarterback. But that role was held by Chase Daniel last season and it’s hard to imagine anyone other than Daniel and Canfield competing for the No. 3 job this year.

Yes, the Saints like Daniel, but he’s got no real experience. It’s kind of a stretch to imagine the Saints just handing the No. 2 job to Daniel at this point.

They’ve got a Super Bowl championship team. Let’s get hypothetical for a second and say Brees twists an ankle and has to miss a couple of games. Are the Saints ready to turn it over to Daniel? Or Canfield?

I seriously doubt it. This is a veteran team and just about anything less than another Super Bowl will be a disappointment. The Saints need an insurance policy behind Brees. They need someone with experience who could come in and lead them for a couple games.

You’ve got to believe something will happen on this front, especially when you look at how the Saints have collected depth just about everywhere else. Mark Brunell, last year’s backup, is still available as a free agent and I still think he’s the leading option. Yes, Brunell is old, but he already knows the system.

Even if the Saints think Brunell is too old, they’ve got to look at other guys with experience. The list of available free agents isn’t all that impressive right now. But someone like Marc Bulger could make the Saints feel a lot more comfortable with their backup situation.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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