New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees is the unquestioned starter, but there is a competition in training camp to be his backup, the job that had been held by current Kansas City Chiefs backup Chase Daniel until this season.
Right now it appears veteran Luke McCown is leading the race thanks in part to an injury to Seneca Wallace and Ryan Griffin’s lack of experience.
McCown should get plenty of opportunities to show what he can do Friday night when the Chiefs visit New Orleans. When he got a chance to do that as a rookie way back in 2004, he turned in a memorable performance.
A fourth-round pick for the Cleveland Browns, McCown was splitting snaps with Jeff Garcia and Kelly Holcomb. Through the first two preseason games he hadn’t yet thrown a touchdown, but the rookie picked a perfect time to finally break through and it happened to come at the expense of the Chiefs.
“We hit kind of a desperation play to win the game, (a) scramble to the left to about the 40-yard line,” McCown remembered this week. “The receiver had a wonderful play in the back corner of the end zone to beat Kansas City with no time left. That was the one of first things I remember about my rookie year.”
The game-winning pass from McCown was officially a 34-yarder, but just as impressive was the drive that put the Browns in position to take a shot. He led an eight-play, 80-yard drive in the final two minutes.
McCown went on to play in five games for the Browns his rookie season, the only one he spent in Cleveland. Since being traded from the Browns, the quarterback has bounced to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Atlanta Falcons and now the Saints.
The touchdowns scored by the Chiefs in that preseason game won by McCown nine years ago? Two passes from the immortal Todd Collins caught by Derrick Blaylock and Omar Easy, respectively. Lawrence Tynes also provided two field goals for Dick Vermeil’s Chiefs.