Drew Brees has officially been ruled out of playing in Sunday’s game, according to head coach Sean Payton. It marks the first time Brees will miss a game specifically due to injury as a member of the New Orleans Saints (Brees did sit out week 17 of the 2009 season before the Saints went on to win the Super Bowl).
Payton said Luke McCown will start Sunday with Grayson as the backup #Saints
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) September 25, 2015
That’s crazy, and the last time a quarterback not named Drew Brees was the starter in a competitive game (Brunell started that week 17 game that the Saints rested starters), it was Todd Bouman in 2005. That’s a long time ago.
Larry Holder of the Times-Picayune discussed what McCown brings to the table for the Saints:
I don’t see Sean Payton altering the game plan all that much with McCown starting. Brees and McCown are similar in that they’re pocket passers. So Payton will likely maintain the same plan as any other week.
McCown doesn’t lack arm strength. What he does lack is quick decision-making. That will be the aspect put to the test most for McCown. He has habitually waited too long on throws in training camp and in preseason over the years.
As for being a game changer? I don’t think I’d put that tag on McCown.
The Saints have been trending down since making the playoffs in 2013, going 7-9 last season. Without Brees for a critical early-season division matchup, it’s unlikely they’ll escape the winless column Sunday.