The New Orleans Saints have found their replacement for Drew Brees. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Jameis Winston is expected to be named the Saints’ starting quarterback and will make his first start on opening day against the Green Bay Packers. Schefter also said that Saints players were spotted yesterday congratulating Winston, who was able to beat out Taysom Hill. This comes after Brees announced his retirement earlier this year.
In the Saints preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday, Winston had a strong performance, completing 9-of-10 passes for 123 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-21 win. “I thought they pressured (Jameis) on one play, and he was able to kind of quickly switch protection and get into a route for a touchdown,” Saints coach Sean Payton said after the game. “I thought there were some really good exposures there early on, and I thought we handled it well.”
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 24, 2021
The preseason game was the first start for Winston as a Saint. “I have not started a football game in so long, so I was so excited to get an opportunity to start and lead the pack. It was exciting, and the rhythm was great” Winston said. “(The) offensive line was phenomenal, and we had guys like Marquez (Callaway) making plays all night. You (have to) love that.”
Winston signed with the Saints in April 2020. He saw action in four regular-season games and one preseason game where he threw a touchdown pass in the loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Winston was drafted by the Buccaneers No. 1 overall in 2015 and was named to the Pro Bowl his rookie year. In 2019, Winston led the NFL in passing yards (5,109) and threw a career-high 33 touchdowns. But the Florida State alum also threw a career-high 30 interceptions including a pick-six in his final pass attempt of the season.
“I think I’m really good on decisions, I just have to get better on accuracy, Winston said. “I had some balls that I really would like to have back that would have been big completions for us. In particular, that one ball that I threw to the right that was long. I just have to continue to work and get better. Winston has some big shoes to fill as Brees will walk into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in five years. Brees led the Saints to a Super Bowl win in 2009 and finished his career with 80,358 yards and 571 touchdowns.