The New Orleans Saints announced the signing of 9-year vet Seneca Wallace to backup their franchise quarterback Drew Brees. Some might be wondering why the Saints would take a chance on a quarterback who didn't play a game last year for any team, and why they bothered signing Luke McCown in the offseason.
I was able to talk to Michael Goldman—Seneca's PR agent—and he said, "Seneca has been patient during the process. We had interest from a few teams but the Saints organization is second to none. Seneca is extremely excited to to begin this next chapter of his career."
Here are my top five reasons why Saint's fans should also be excited about Wallace's new chapter in New Orleans.
Seneca Wallace has a career 59.2 completion percentage, which is only about six points under Brees and one point higher than McCown. As most fans will attest, when you see your starting quarterback go out of the game, all you want to do is make sure that the backup quarterback can hand the ball off or at least get the ball to the receivers in short patterns.
With Wallace at the helm, this won't be a problem.
As with anything that is a shock to the system, when a new QB enters the game it may take a few plays for the team to get used to him. In this transition period, anything can happen. Holes can fill, blocks can collapse and miscommunication will be paramount.
With all these issues, the best thing for a QB to do might be to hold the ball and run. Wallace is averaging 4.3 yards per carry in his career and averaged 10 yards per carry on seven tries and seven attempts in his last year in Cleveland. This should make him a dynamic threat immediately as he enters the game.
In Seattle, Mike Holmgren began using Wallace as a wide receiver in limited formations. By Week 7, Wallace had caught two passes, run two end-arounds and thrown an incomplete pass on an end-around option pass. He even fielded a fair catch!
Wallace knows that he isn't going to take the job from Drew Brees. He's coming into New Orleans with the idea of being there in case Brees gets knocked out. He can also help mold and train any quarterback the Saints select in this year's draft or next.
Wallace has been in the game since 2003 and has had time to learn the game and knows that when his time comes, he has to shine. After an injury to Hasselbeck's right knee in 2006, Wallace started in four games as quarterback, winning two and losing two.
He had a passer rating of 76.2 for the 2006 season and passed for just under 1000 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. The same situation happened in Cleveland when Jake Delhomme went down and Wallace ended up playing in eight games that year, finishing with a passing quarterback rating of 88.5 and a completion percentage of 63.4.