In the Black and Gold scrimmage, QB Ryan Griffin solidified his candidacy for the the second-string job, and his case further improved with a very strong showing in the New Orleans Saints‘ first preseason game against the St. Louis Rams.
Veteran Luke McCown got the start, but Griffin entered the game late in the first quarter and put up much better numbers. He went 16-for-23 with 123 yards and a touchdown pass to rookie Brandin Cooks, as opposed to McCown’s 7-for-10 with 49 yards and an interception.
Griffin’s teammates have praised him all offseason for his considerable improvements, and now he’s started to put them on display for the entire NFL to see. His success has been pretty shocking, considering that he was brought up from the practice squad. But if he continues playing like he has been, no one in the Saints’ organization is going to complain too much.
When team activities began, McCown was probably firmly in the lead for the backup job, and now it has become a legitimate competition. The Saints are probably still leaning towards McCown for now as he is by far the more experienced candidate, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see Griffin beat him out for that second slot on the depth chart.
If his success and growth does continue to expand over the next couple of years, Griffin could take on an even bigger role. It seems far-fetched to consider, but he could very well be a dark horse candidate to succeed Drew Brees. He’s not near ready to lead the team, but he’s shown that he might have the skills.