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Why the search for the next Drew Brees may already be over…


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Let me ask you a question… How did you view Drew Brees before he came to New Orleans?

 

As a player?

 

Was he considered a future Hall of Famer? No right, if he was then why would he have come here or even been available.

 

Did you view him as a can’t miss signee? Nope, wrong again. Many of us were dreaming of Vince Young, Matt Leinhart or Jay Cutler in the black and gold around that time.

 

What he was, was a solid NFL starter coming off a serious shoulder injury who just got replaced by Philip Rivers… but way better than what we had.

 

Now once here we knew we had something special but not just in Brees but the combination of Brees and Sean Payton. Now let’s explore the latter for a second. Did Payton give the 2006 QB class any serious thought? Nope! He and GM Mickey Loomis targeted Brees early on in free agency after failed trade attempts for Tony Romo and Brett Farve fell through. They focused in on Brees and put the full court press on, the 2006 draft class was merely their last resort. Speaking of which, when has Sean Payton in his entire head coaching career EVER seriously invested into a rookie quarterback? In 2015 he drafted Garrett Grayson out of Colorado State in the 3rd round 75th overall and that was about as serious as its ever gotten (unless you count the rumored interest in Patrick Mahomes in 2017). Grayson was with the club for 2 seasons before Payton ditched on him. He couldn’t even develop him into an adequate backup. Also if you are in the group that points to his interest in Patrick Mahomes in 2017, the fact is that Payton never made the deal to assure picking him.

 

The point is… Maybe Sean Payton has zero interest in dealing with a young rookie quarterback. Hell, Taysom Hill is by far the guy I’ve seen Payton spend so much time and effort into developing and even he was 27 years old when he arrived to the Saints. Plus let’s be honest, Hill’s ability to play multiple positions at a high level made it easier for Payton to keep Hill around.

 

When I look at the player Drew Brees was when he was leaving San Diego and compare him to the player that Jameis Winston was leaving Tampa Bay, there are a lot of similarities there. Both players were around the same age at 26-27, both had 5 years’ experience in the NFL at that point with varying levels of success and both were former highly decorated college athletes and high draft picks. Another thing was that both were hungry. Brees coming off the injury and the embarrassment of being replaced by a younger draftee and Winston being replaced by Tom Brady after having his best season (sans the INTs). Brees was desperate to prove he was a top quarterback in this league and that he could overcome the injury and Winston to prove he is a top quarterback as well and to avoid the bust label as the former #1 overall pick.

 

Sean Payton knew what he was getting in both.

 

The Saints have always been a “traits” scouting team under Loomis, Pro and College scouting. They love big, strong, fast. Well Jameis Winston fits that mold. This was the former #1 overall pick for a reason, he’s big with a cannon and is sneaky mobile inside the pocket. It’s also not like Winston didn’t prove that he was an NFL player while in Tampa, the skills are evident. Apparently maturity was a major issue with Winston but since arriving in New Orleans on a 1 year 1 million dollar deal and being regulated to the 3rd string quarterback, I’d say he’s been humbled. He’s also since gotten married, started a family and changed his diet getting slimmer and in better peak physical condition. The fact that he choose the Saints combined with all the above proves that Winston has come a long way in the maturity dept. He’s looking to revitalize his career and he may have stumbled into the most ideal situation any second chancer has ever had in the NFL.

 

Coaching matters in the NFL… but talent also matters too. I believe that Sean Payton LOVES Taysom Hill the person and athlete but is not real high on Taysom Hill the quarterback. Like him or not, Winston is a highly talented athlete. There are numerous reports coming out of NOLA that Payton desperately wants to resign Winston this offseason and has been in constant communication with Winston and his representation about just that. Payton even felt the need to explain himself mid-season as to why Taysom Hill was starting over Winston and it had only to do with a promise Payton made to Hill before Winston ever arrived in town… who’s benefit do you think that was for? Media, fans… HELL NO! When has Payton ever cared about what those two had to say? No that was for one person and one person only, Jameis Winston and what it did was let him know that he still has an opportunity here in 2021.

 

Looking at the makeup of this team moving forward, Winston under center gives what is quickly becoming a veteran group of young core players a talented field general with experience and skins on the wall so to speak. As with Drew Brees before him, Payton should be able to devise a game plan and surround Winston with the talent needed to help him reach his potential and if that happens the Saints will have a bonafide star quarterback at 27 years old and with one slight reloading year in 2021 be right back in contention in 2022.

 

I mean… what could it hurt to find out?

 

WHODAT

 

 

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If Payton truly believes in Winston, I'm good with giving him next year to be our guy. He was a number 1 overall pick for a reason, and there is potential for a Brees or (maybe more realistically) a Tannehill type career resurgence with a change of scenery.

Biggest question is can Payton help coach him up to improve his decision making. I think that is something that can be coached up. Not forcing throws, and just throwing the ball away living to fight another down instead of throwing a pick. I posted in another thread on Winston's insane turnover rate last year being a product of being in a Bruce Arians offense. There are some interesting articles on the situation with Arians basically telling him he needs to force the ball downfield even if it's double coverage. This isn't to say Winston didn't have decision making issues prior to Arians, but they became far worse with this coaching philosophy.

I think with Payton he has a completely different mind set in coaching philosophy. I'd imagine he would ease him into our system with how we have been running it the past few years. Essentially a lot of short/intermediate plays letting our main playmakers such as Kamara and Thomas do most of the work. Then as he gains confidence maybe open it up a bit more to utilize his arm talent somewhat like we saw with our offense before Brees lost his arm strength. 

The only option I don't like going into next year is Hill under center for us. I think that just wastes a year of everyone's time. It will be a tough year and we will lose some valuable players, but we are so deep and talented that I think we still can be a playoff team (not likely going to be contending for the #1 or #2 seed), if we get lucky with decent QB play (Winston/Rookie QB) anything can happen if we make the playoffs. With Hill I'm fairly confident that isn't a possibility.

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Good stuff!

I've never been a fan of Winston. I'm guessing that it was mostly attitude coupled with my fandom hatred for the Tampa Football Team. Toss in a 50/50 ratio of TD/INT, and you have a player I don't want.

BUT, I'm not in the meetings, on the sidelines, having the conversations, watching the "re"-development. AND we've seen how a humbled QB can then accel moving forward.

I can't help but to imagine what a guy can pick up on when spending every day watching snap after snap, prep on top of prep, and techniques of a certain 1st ballot HOF QB. How to touch a pass to Latavious Murray when Kalil Mack is about to bust 11 more ribs. How to quickly throw the ball in the dirt at the feet of a receiver rather than taking the sack, or turning the ball over. That stuff resonates with a student, as long as the student is ready.

Arians has worked with (but not developed) Peyton Manning, Ben Rwoeknsjwfokqajburger, Carson Palmer, and Andrew Luck. It's no doubt that his coaching style didn't fit with Winston, and thus the departure.

Winston has been tutored by Lovie Smith (who was just fired...again) who is not a great coach, and Dirk Koetter (who?) who is also not a QB "whisperer". And the aforementioned Arians.

So I'd like to think that his being thrown to the wolfs as a rookie, coupled with mediocre (at best) coaches could have a lot to do with his lack of development. 

I'm hoping to eat crow, and I'm hoping that a full year under a HOF QB and HOF Head Coach can transform Winston into what was seen in him as the 1st overall guy.

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13 hours ago, tyler735 said:

If Payton truly believes in Winston, I'm good with giving him next year to be our guy. He was a number 1 overall pick for a reason, and there is potential for a Brees or (maybe more realistically) a Tannehill type career resurgence with a change of scenery.

Biggest question is can Payton help coach him up to improve his decision making. I think that is something that can be coached up. Not forcing throws, and just throwing the ball away living to fight another down instead of throwing a pick. I posted in another thread on Winston's insane turnover rate last year being a product of being in a Bruce Arians offense. There are some interesting articles on the situation with Arians basically telling him he needs to force the ball downfield even if it's double coverage. This isn't to say Winston didn't have decision making issues prior to Arians, but they became far worse with this coaching philosophy.

I think with Payton he has a completely different mind set in coaching philosophy. I'd imagine he would ease him into our system with how we have been running it the past few years. Essentially a lot of short/intermediate plays letting our main playmakers such as Kamara and Thomas do most of the work. Then as he gains confidence maybe open it up a bit more to utilize his arm talent somewhat like we saw with our offense before Brees lost his arm strength. 

The only option I don't like going into next year is Hill under center for us. I think that just wastes a year of everyone's time. It will be a tough year and we will lose some valuable players, but we are so deep and talented that I think we still can be a playoff team (not likely going to be contending for the #1 or #2 seed), if we get lucky with decent QB play (Winston/Rookie QB) anything can happen if we make the playoffs. With Hill I'm fairly confident that isn't a possibility.

I agree with Winston's INT increase having something to do with Arians system. In his 1st 4 years he avarged 14.5 ints per year so he basically doubled his average in 1 year under Arains which isn't shocking as it seems all QBs under Arains do so.

 

I also agree that Payton can coach and scheme alot of that out of Winston. Payton is one of the absoulte best play desginers in the NFL and understands how to build a offense around his players where Arians has a system and expect you to conform to it.

 

Then you add all the personal issuse Winston had in Tampa... This is a different Winston with a different mindset. Hes been humbled, hes matured and hes playing for his NFL future. He understands that if he flops on his next chance he'll be a backup the rest of his career. Its all on the line for him.

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4 hours ago, Mid Iowa said:

Good stuff!

I've never been a fan of Winston. I'm guessing that it was mostly attitude coupled with my fandom hatred for the Tampa Football Team. Toss in a 50/50 ratio of TD/INT, and you have a player I don't want.

BUT, I'm not in the meetings, on the sidelines, having the conversations, watching the "re"-development. AND we've seen how a humbled QB can then accel moving forward.

I can't help but to imagine what a guy can pick up on when spending every day watching snap after snap, prep on top of prep, and techniques of a certain 1st ballot HOF QB. How to touch a pass to Latavious Murray when Kalil Mack is about to bust 11 more ribs. How to quickly throw the ball in the dirt at the feet of a receiver rather than taking the sack, or turning the ball over. That stuff resonates with a student, as long as the student is ready.

Arians has worked with (but not developed) Peyton Manning, Ben Rwoeknsjwfokqajburger, Carson Palmer, and Andrew Luck. It's no doubt that his coaching style didn't fit with Winston, and thus the departure.

Winston has been tutored by Lovie Smith (who was just fired...again) who is not a great coach, and Dirk Koetter (who?) who is also not a QB "whisperer". And the aforementioned Arians.

So I'd like to think that his being thrown to the wolfs as a rookie, coupled with mediocre (at best) coaches could have a lot to do with his lack of development. 

I'm hoping to eat crow, and I'm hoping that a full year under a HOF QB and HOF Head Coach can transform Winston into what was seen in him as the 1st overall guy.

I also have never been a fan of Winston the individual but ive always respected his talent. No doubt if Winston truly has matured and is finnally serious about turing his career around, he and Sean Payton could be a dynamic pairing moving forward and he has the weapons around him and the offensive line to truly explode in 2021 offensively... All they need to find is a speed deep threat to stretch the field.

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59 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

I agree with Winston's INT increase having something to do with Arians system. In his 1st 4 years he avarged 14.5 ints per year so he basically doubled his average in 1 year under Arains which isn't shocking as it seems all QBs under Arains do so.

 

I also agree that Payton can coach and scheme alot of that out of Winston. Payton is one of the absoulte best play desginers in the NFL and understands how to build a offense around his players where Arians has a system and expect you to conform to it.

 

Then you add all the personal issuse Winston had in Tampa... This is a different Winston with a different mindset. Hes been humbled, hes matured and hes playing for his NFL future. He understands that if he flops on his next chance he'll be a backup the rest of his career. Its all on the line for him.

Tom Brady started off the season on pace to have the highest INT total of his career before he calmed it down.  Pretty sure there was a stat that every QB has had one of if not the worst INT totals of their careers when Arians first arives.  Example Arians & Palmer in 2013.

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Yeah here's a good article on the Arians effect:

In 2019, Winston threw more passes of 20 or more yards downfield than any quarterback in eight years.

Eight years.

His 99 attempts more than tripled the number thrown by Drew Brees and Jimmy Garoppolo. The last QB to throw more was rookie Andrew Luck in 2012 who was coached by… yes, Bruce Arians.

Arians is the NFL’s most aggressive head coach with quarterbacks. When Nate Burleson asked Arians what he wanted out of Winston, Arians said: “If he doesn’t make the throw, if he hesitates, if he checks it down, even if there are two guys on one of our star receivers, I am going to yell at my quarterback”.

That’s Arians. And Winston followed instructions. And why not?

Look at Carson Palmer, who posted his best season under Arians but not before throwing a career high 22 INTs in their first season together. Let’s look:

Carson Palmer under Arians

2013: 24TDs, 22 INTs, 83.9 pass rating

2015: 35 TDs, 11 INTs, 104.6 pass rating

At age 36, Palmer had an MVP-worthy season. If a 10-year veteran like Palmer can throw his career high INTs adjusting to Arians system, why would anyone expect the 26-year-old Winston not to do the same? With Arians, your INTs go up before they go down. Why can’t we just “trust the process”?

All of which brings us back to Peyton’s 28 interceptions as a rookie with Arians as his QB coach."

https://deadspin.com/you-know-who-jameis-winston-looks-like-after-five-seaso-1842526841

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1 hour ago, tyler735 said:

I think Harris can develop into a solid deep threat for us. He has good speed, and his acceleration/quickness in his cuts are about as good as they come.

side note, almost all of Hill's deep throws I can recall are so underthrown.

Xavier Rhodes is not a good CB, but Harris nearly broke Rhodes' ankles on that cut. He put a full 5 yards of separation between them. Had Hill hit him in stride, that was a literal walk-in TD.

I like Harris, and I'm sure he'll be back next year. I'm hoping for Sanders, too.
We've got a few young studs coming on nicely, so we'll see.

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1 hour ago, Raves said:

Tom Brady started off the season on pace to have the highest INT total of his career before he calmed it down.  Pretty sure there was a stat that every QB has had one of if not the worst INT totals of their careers when Arians first arives.  Example Arians & Palmer in 2013.

Your exactly right... Remember reports around I think the Bucs bye week Arians and Brady had tension and reportedly had a "come to Jesus" moment. After that they began sinking on offense and most reported that it was due to Arians relenting a lot of sway within the offense to Tom. We'd have to get a Bucs fan that knows and followed this to give his input but I do remember reading about this somewhere. I also remember after the first quarter of the season reports were all over Brady's INT total and linking it to Arians offense, media even questioning was it really Winston's fault (those 30 INT's). 

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24 minutes ago, Mid Iowa said:

Xavier Rhodes is not a good CB, but Harris nearly broke Rhodes' ankles on that cut. He put a full 5 yards of separation between them. Had Hill hit him in stride, that was a literal walk-in TD.

What an enigma Rhodes is, he was so good for awhile and then just fell off a cliff in terms of his play towards the end of his Vikings career. Totally agree though Harris torched him there. It was so underthrown and he had so much separation it almost looked like Harris was fielding a punt when a caught it lol

24 minutes ago, Mid Iowa said:

I like Harris, and I'm sure he'll be back next year. I'm hoping for Sanders, too.
We've got a few young studs coming on nicely, so we'll see.

Yeah definitely agree!

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25 minutes ago, Mid Iowa said:

Xavier Rhodes is not a good CB, but Harris nearly broke Rhodes' ankles on that cut. He put a full 5 yards of separation between them. Had Hill hit him in stride, that was a literal walk-in TD.

I like Harris, and I'm sure he'll be back next year. I'm hoping for Sanders, too.
We've got a few young studs coming on nicely, so we'll see.

I love Harris... great weapon, Payton utilizes him well but I think we need a Robert Meacham/Devery Henderson type. A pure receiver with a big body that can stretch the field while Harris works underneath and Thomas and a TE in the seams. Recently teams do not respect the deep ball against the Saints because they know Brees can't stretch the field with his arm. Winston would be a different story, T. Smith was suppose to be that deep speed guy but he simply hasn't worked out... or has he not worked out because we didn't have a QB that could take advantage of his skill set? 

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3 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

I love Harris... great weapon, Payton utilizes him well but I think we need a Robert Meacham/Devery Henderson type. A pure receiver with a big body that can stretch the field while Harris works underneath and Thomas and a TE in the seams. Recently teams do not respect the deep ball against the Saints because they know Brees can't stretch the field with his arm. Winston would be a different story, T. Smith was suppose to be that deep speed guy but he simply hasn't worked out... or has he not worked out because we didn't have a QB that could take advantage of his skill set? 

I definitely wouldn't mind adding another explosive WR to the mix, I am still curious to see how Marquez Callaway would do in this role. He isn't a blazer, but coming into the league, one of his best attributes was his ability to go up and win on these deeper 50/50 balls. I think he had finally gotten a chance on a deeper play a couple weeks ago, and came down with the contested catch, but hasn't really had too many chances yet in that regard. Can't help but think a guy like Winston would work well with Callaway on these types of deep shots

 

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15 hours ago, whodatworm23 said:

Recently teams do not respect the deep ball against the Saints because they know Brees can't stretch the field with his arm. Winston would be a different story, T. Smith was suppose to be that deep speed guy but he simply hasn't worked out... or has he not worked out because we didn't have a QB that could take advantage of his skill set? 

Interesting take, and one I can agree with. Inability to stretch the field may have more to do with the QB than the WR on our team these days. I think Brees's best "in air" ball is at about 47 yards now. That's...okay...but he almost always under throws it. So basically anything over 25 yards is a hybrid Hail Mary, with Brees or Hill, for that matter.

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