One couldn’t blame Drew Brees if he decided to shun Garrett Grayson and treat him like a threat.
In some ways, that’s exactly what Grayson is. Right now, while he’s still at the top of his game, Brees has nothing to worry about. He is still one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL.
But what about in a year or two, when he’s a little bit older and a little bit farther removed from his prime?
When the Saints selected Grayson in the third round out of Colorado State, to some degree, the organization was admitting that day could eventually arrive, that there will be a future in New Orleans that no longer involves Brees. Depending on how things develop, it could be Grayson who pushes him out of the picture.
So, if Brees were to keep him at a distance, it would be understandable. But that isn’t in his DNA. Brees is a good teammate and leader, and good teammates and leaders try to make the team and everyone who is a part of it better.
“I’ve got a great relationship with Luke McCown and Ryan Griffin and I’m sure that as I get to know Garrett, we’ll very much be like that as well,” Brees told The Advocate on Monday. “All the quarterbacks are great together. We push one another, we compete, we get the best out of one another. That’s what you kind of like about surrounding yourself with those types of guys. And Garrett seems to be that kind of guy.”
The Saints’ quarterback room is one of the closest groups on the roster. Each day after practices conclude at training camp, they engage in throwing competitions and keep score to declare a champion. The same closeness can be seen with how they interact with one another throughout the season.
The thought of Brees excluding someone from that fraternity is unimaginable — threat or no threat. So it’s no surprise that he says he’ll help Grayson however he can and that he is unfazed by the idea of the team using a high draft pick to select another quarterback.
“I’m worried about winning a championship,” Brees said. “Trying to be the best player I can be, trying to be the leader that I can be, that applies to how can I help get the best out of everyone who is on the team.”
Brees is still getting to know Grayson. He just recently met him for the first time and said he was impressed with his demeanor and believes he will fit in well with the other quarterbacks. Brees also understands that transitioning to the NFL will be a long, hard process for Grayson.
“It’s always a process for a young quarterback coming into an NFL program, running a new offense, the speed of the game, just all the things that kind of come with jumping up to the next level,” Brees said. “Like I said, today was the first day I’ve been around him, so I can’t say that I know him that well. But I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen so far.”
Graham not worried
If Shayne Graham is worried about New Orleans carrying three kickers on its roster right now, his golfing attire — a Virginia Tech-inspired look heavy in maroon and orange — at the Saints Hall of Fame Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday wasn’t showing it.
But Graham acknowledged that he has heard the Saints signed kicker Zach Hocker after a rookie minicamp, adding another leg to the competition between the 17-year veteran and Dustin Hopkins.
“I heard this morning,” Graham said. “Whatever that is, I have no control over that. All I can do is take care of myself. All those decisions are upstairs, they’re not mine to make.”
Graham said he’s not surprised by the number of kickers on the roster.
“I’ve been in every scenario you can imagine,” he said. “It’s nothing out of the ordinary for me.”
Graham made 19 of 22 kicks during the 2014 season, an 86.4 percent conversion rate.
Saints waive 4
The Saints made the requisite moves to get back down to 90 players.
After offering contracts to Hocker, linebacker Henry Coley, offensive lineman Antonio Johnson and receivers Josh Morgan and Kyle Prater on Sunday, the team announced it has waived four players.
Let go were offensive lineman Doniel Gambrell, guard Andrew Miller, linebacker Stephon Sanders and receiver Malcome Kennedy. Kennedy was waived with an injury designation after fracturing his foot, a source told The Advocate.
Gambrell, Sanders and Kennedy were signed as undrafted free agents following the draft and took part in this past weekend’s rookie minicamp.
New Orleans had 89 players on its roster entering rookie minicamp.
The Advocate’s Tim Boone contributed to this report.