Who Are the New Orleans Saints' Best Quarterbacks in Franchise History?

Tom ThomasonCorrespondent IMay 4, 2009

This will be my first installment in a series called "Who's the Best in Saints History?" where I will submit my opinions on the best players in Saints history by position. Today I will start at the top with QB.

Numero uno: Drew Brees

The stats speak for themselves. 13,910 yards in just three seasons is unbelievable. A passer rating of 93.8 is the best of any Saint QB in franchise history—not to mention he was one pass away from breaking Dan Marino's single season passing record of 5,084 yards with 5,069 yards.

Brees has 88 touchdowns and 46 interceptions. He also led the Saints their only NFC Championship Game in 2006.

(For the sake of this article I will concede that Brees is the best and compare the rest.)


No. 2—now it gets a little shaky. So I will compare the other top four guys in total yardage.

Archie Manning

While he is probably the sentimental favorite of most Saints fans. I will attempt to be impartial.

He leads the Saints with 21,734 yards in 12 seasons. He's second with 115 TDs but also leads with 156 INTs. His career rating with the Saints was a lowly 67.4. He was a two-time Pro Bowler and was named NFC MVP in 1978.

Manning was truly one of the few bright spots on the Saints during many years of losing. He was also sacked an amazing 340 times for a 9.3 sack percentage. He took an awful beating and still put up nice numbers.


Aaron Brooks

Brooks compiled 19,156 yards with the Saints and holds the Saints' all-time record with 120 touchdown passes. He threw 84 INTs. He also directed the Saints' first playoff win against the "greatest show on turf" St. Louis Rams. But after that, his accomplishments are pretty empty. His QB rating with the Saints was 79.7.

He wasn't exactly a cerebral-type QB, to put it mildly. He was wildly inconsistent and seemed to lose focus during games. He struggled to hold on to the ball at times. He coughed up a record 59 fumbles with the Saints. He also rarely took responsibility for his mistakes. Brooks pretty much led to the demise of coach Jim Haslett.

I think we can safely take him out of the running for No. 2.

Bobby Herbert

Third all-time with 14,630 yards, plus a passer rating of 79.1 with 85 touchdowns and 75 INTs. He led the Saints to three playoff appearances, but had a bad habit of choking in the playoffs.

I think stats don't really do justice for the Cajun Cannon. He was a fiery player who hated to lose. He had an uncanny ability to get his teammates fired up. He didn't have a rocket, but had a real nice touch that his receivers loved. Unfortunately it led to quite a few untimely INTs (like against the Eagles in the 1992 playoffs).

Jim Everett

Everett amassed 10,622 passing yards with 60 TDs, 48 INTs, and a passer rating of 81.1. Though he had a decent passer rating, Everett didn't seem to have the same passion for football that he had with the Rams under John Robinson. Plus he was playing under Jim Mora during his meltdown years.

So after comparing these four, my vote for No. 2 would have to be (drum roll please)...

Archie Manning. Even though he never went to the playoffs, he was a real tough player who gave it all until the whistle blew. I went with him over Bobby Herbert because 1) He never had the defense that Bobby had; 2) he went to two Pro Bowls and was named NFC MVP in 1978; 3) even though he was sacked more than groceries, he was always one of the best QBs in the league.

Well, that's my take. Please feel free to disagree.