With the 75th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected Garrett Grayson, a quarterback from Colorado State. This was an intriguing pick because Drew Brees is the Saints’ With the 75th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected Garrett Grayson, a quarterback from Colorado State. This was an intriguing pick because Drew Brees is the Saints’ starting quarterback, Drew Brees has not retired, and Drew Brees is playing this season.
But he’s also 36 years old.
He also hasn’t gotten past the divisional round of the playoffs since winning the Super Bowl in 2009, and he’s led the Saints to a 7-9 finish in two of the last three seasons.
At this point, is there concern in New Orleans about Brees’ age and productivity?
“Well, I think there is a concern,” NOLA.com Saints writer Larry Holder said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “You don’t draft a quarterback in the third round if you don’t know at some point – maybe in the near future – that door is going to close, that window is going to close. But honestly, I still expect a better Drew Brees this year. Look, I mentioned the offensive line, how much trouble that was. The defense has to get better. Look, Drew Brees played really well in ’13. The defense was fourth overall. And then last year Drew Brees threw some picks that he probably shouldn’t have, maybe pressed more, and the defense was 31st in the NFL.”
Brees’ yardage totals the past two seasons were virtually identical: 5,162 in 2013 and 4,952 in 2014. The difference, as Holder mentioned, was touchdowns and turnovers. In 2013, Brees had 39 touchdowns to just 12 interceptions; in 2014, he had 33 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.
The Saints’ defense was 31st in yards (384.0) and 28th in points (26.5) last season.
“It’s hard to win consistently when you’re that bad on defense,” Holder said. “Is some of that on Drew Brees? Absolutely. Do I think they’ve made some moves to help him? Obviously not getting rid of Jimmy Graham, but have they made some other moves to help Drew Brees? I think they have.”
The Saints added C.J. Spiller this offseason to give Brees a pass-catching running back a la Reggie Bush and Darren Sproles.
“But look, when you’re at this age, every year this question is going to be asked,” Holder said. “It’s just a force of nature. People were saying that about Peyton Manning. People were saying that about Tom Brady last year before he really got hot again. But it’s just going to be part of it now – and if they go 7-9 again, it’s a completely viable question: Is it time to move on past Drew Brees? It’s more than viable.”