Ryan Clark’s analysis on the New Orleans’ Saints quarterback situation might not stir a quarterback controversy, but it’s certainly provided some food for football thought.
Speaking on ESPN’s Get Up!, Clark agreed with co-analyst Domonique Foxworth that the Saints are the team to beat in the NFC. However, Clark offered a differing opinion on why the Saints reigned. While Foxworth was high on praise for quarterback Drew Brees, Clark actually felt the Saints have performed better as a team with backup Teddy Bridgewater at the helm.
“I’ve watched this team with Teddy Bridgewater, and I saw them and I said, ‘when Drew Brees get back, oh my God’ because they’re going to be so much better offensively,” Clark said. “And actually Drew Brees has been back, and I like them better with Teddy Bridgewater.”
As Foxworth went crazy next to him, Clark clarified he didn’t mean that statement as a knock on Brees. Rather, he felt New Orleans had been better as a unit with Bridgewater at the helm.
“What I am saying is, you see how reliant they become on him. You see they how much they focus on making sure Drew gets his throws. And then (running back) Alvin Kamara comes back and they force feed the ball to him when Latvius Murray was really a guy who was a driving force as to why they were really good with Teddy Bridgewater. (Head coach) Sean Payton has to get back to understand that Michael Thomas is the best player on this team. Make sure he gets his touches and you move on from there.”
“I believe this team is still the best in the NFC. I still believe that this team is the best in the NFL. But they have to be offensive than they were the last two weeks.”
The Saints’ high-octane offensive struggled with Brees back at the helm on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. Brees threw 45 times for 287 yards and no touchdowns, while Kamara and Murray combined for just nine carries. Thomas had 13 receptions for 152 yards, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a 26-9 loss at the hands of the Falcons. The defeat ended a six-game New Orleans winning streak, with four of those wins coming with Bridgewater starting.