What is the outlook for Ian Book?

What to expect from Ian Book

By: Jake Rajala

The Philadelphia Eagles didn’t only acquire former New Orleans Saints defensive back Chauncey Gardner-Johnson – as they also signed former Saints quarterback Ian Book (Saints fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft). Book stands behind the ascending Jalen Hurts and Gardner Minshew (Mania).

Book was thrown in the fire against the Miami Dolphins in Week 16 of last season, to say the least. The former Notre Dame signal-caller had to lead a Saints team that missed 22 players and four coaches against a Dolphins team that was on a six-game winning streak. Well, what exactly was the end result for Book? He threw a pick-six on his second pass of the game, threw 12 completions of 20 attempts, and finished with 135 passing yards. Book didn’t flash greatness, but Sean Payton did make it clear after the game that he was performing with very limited help.

Book did make impressive moments in the 2022 pre-season – as he unveiled 42 completions to 65 passing attempts, 64.6 completion percentage, 2 passing touchdowns (to 2 interceptions). His QBR in pre-season was 73.6 – which was a step up from his QBR (55.7) in 2021. He was making positive strides this off-season, but he was beaten by the Red Rifle (Andy Dalton) for the Saints QB2 spot. The Saints had so many talented back-up pieces at other positions, that Dennis Allen ultimately decided that it wasn’t worth keeping Book as a QB3.

The Eagles currently carry three young, talented, signal-callers on their roster moving forward. The Eagles quietly have tremendous depth at their QB position. Minshew and Book are both set to be free agents after this season. I believe that Minshew (who also lived out of a bus for a chunk of this summer) may leave and compete for a starting gig next off-season, so it wouldn’t be a complete surprise if Book was the QB2 for the Eagles in 2023 and beyond.

5 takeaways from the Packers-Saints showdown

Latest takeaways from the Packers-Saints game

By: Jake Rajala

The New Orleans Saints traveled to the Frozen tundra to battle the Green Bay Packers in Week 2 of the preseason. The Packers ultimately won the contest by a score of 20-10. With that said, I’m going to untwine five takeaways from the Packers-Saints showdown.

  • Will Lutz is back!

The Saints kicker with a big leg, Will Lutz, sadly missed the entire 2021 season via a core injury. Well, it’s safe to say that the Saints are happy to have a healthy Will Lutz. The Saints kicker nicely converted a 59-yard field goal on the day.

  • Romeo Doubs shines

The Packers unsung wideout Romeo Doubs has been effective this summer and he stood out (yet again) against the Saints with an impressive touchdown reception. Christian Watson may have the rookie spotlight. However, let’s not forget about Doub’s ability to wreak havoc.

  • Ian Book shows his versatility

The Saints fourth-round pick in 2021, Ian Book, had an admirable all-around performance against the Pack (113 passing yds, 1 passing TD, 1 Int, 7 carries for 49 rushing yds). He had a monster run for 27 yds and he also unleashed a beautiful touchdown pass to the first-round rookie from Ohio State University Chris Olave.

  • Danny Etling runs angry

The Packers QB Danny Etling mopped the floor against the Saints defense with an unearthly 51-yard touchdown run. He ran a 4.76 40-yard dash at the 2018 scouting combine, but it’s clear that he may be scarier than his 40-time. His long play also garnered an amazing reaction from the Packers MVP QB Aaron Rodgers.

  • Taco Friday

The Saints edge rusher Taco Charlton is buried on the depth chart at DE. Nonetheless, he is playing with his hair on fire – as he logged a nice sack. Charlton registered a personal-best five sacks and two forced fumbles in 2019.

Recapping Ian Book’s First NFL Start for the Saints

What will happen to Ian Book?

By Chris Moore (Twitter @fantasy_moore)

Heading into their week 16 matchup against the Dolphins, the Saints were down to their third-string quarterback Ian Book. Book was the next man up to start in week 16 due to Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill being placed on the COVID list. With the Saints down two quarterbacks, it was Ian Books’ time to shine on primetime. Book finished the game 12/20, passing for 135 yards and two interceptions. The Saints went on to lose 20-3 in a crucial game they needed to win. Let’s get into Book’s performance and see what went wrong for the young rookie quarterback.

Rough Performance 

Books performance against the Dolphins was rough, to put it nicely. Book faced heavy pressure all night from the Dolphins and struggled to read the defense. Book was sacked eight times and threw a pick-six on his first NFL drive. It was a terrible game for Book, as the Saints struggled to run the ball and were playing from behind all night. The Dolphins’ defense has been playing very well as of late, but Book still struggled heavily in a game the Saints needed to win. It was rather disappointing for Saints fans, as many throughout the year thought Book could potentially be the starter one day for the Saints, and many wanted Book to play when Siemian was starting earlier in the year. Now it was only one game, and Book will adjust and get more comfortable playing in the league as he gains experience. But after his performance against the Dolphins, it doesn’t look like Book should be viewed as the Saints’ next franchise quarterback. Book looked like a backup out there in week 16, and it’s clear he needs more time if he is ever going to play in the NFL.

Potential Future

There’s a chance the Saints don’t have their franchise quarterback on the roster yet. Winston looked very promising, but he is only getting older and will be returning from an ACL tear in 2022. The Taysom Hill experience was a fun one. But he’s not the Saints’ long-term answer at the quarterback position. Ian Book looked like he doesn’t have a future in the league in his only start, but he is still very young and is still a rookie. It wasn’t a good performance. But Book will learn from the mistakes he made and hopefully get better as he gains the experience.

Day 3 picks of the 2021 NFL Draft that have impressed

Saints QB Ian Book shined in Week 1

By: Jeremy Trottier

With the first week of the NFL preseason in the rearview mirror, we got the opportunity to see some of the phenomenal rookies we expected to perform such as Trevor Lawrence.  With that, we also saw some breakouts from the later rounds of the draft, trying to gain a spot on their respective rosters either as a backup or even potential starter.  In this article, I will be going over the three best performances from 2021 preseason week 1 of rookies drafted in day three, that being rounds four through seven, and projecting where they could land on their depth charts.

Rhamondre Stevenson – RB – New England Patriots – Round 4 Pick 120

First up we have the power back from Oklahoma University in Rhamondre Stevenson, a player I was extremely impressed with entering the draft and proved he can be a commodity to the Patriots this season.  The main focus is Stevenson’s 91-yard rushing touchdown, which I have linked below, but aside from that play he also had 9 rushes for 36 yards and a touchdown, which alone would have made him the lead rusher on the Patriots that night.

Including the 91 yarder, he had 10 rushes for 127 yards (12.7 YPC) and 2 touchdowns, which in your first NFL game is a very strong performance, even if you were expected to be an elite player.  Stevenson will definitely have a role carved out for him on the Pats 53 man roster this season if he continues this success, and likely would be utilized as the power and RedZone back for them with Damien Harris, James White, and Sony Michel taking the other spots on the depth chart.

Ian Book – QB – New Orleans Saints – Round 4 Pick 133

Next up we have one of the more controversial picks the Saints made in this draft class, that being Ian Book, former Notre Dame quarterback.  Many believed he would take a long time to develop and would primarily be used as the QB3 on the roster and letting Taysom Hill take over his swiss army knife role again.  But with that said, Ian Book actually looked solid on Saturday, and it seemed like he had a lot of good traits to work with.

Book went 9/16 for 126 yards and an interception Vs the Ravens, however, the interception was more of a prayer pass late in the game and was not something he would normally throw seemingly.  He had the most yards, completions, attempts, and yards/completion of all three Saints QBs on Saturday, and a higher QBR than Taysom Hill did, which shows he can be a productive player when utilized, and has potential for the future to tap into.

Rashad Weaver – OLB – Tennessee Titans – Round 4 Pick 135

Finally, we look two picks after Ian Book to find the Pittsburgh University outside linebacker, Rashad Weaver.  At 6’4” and 259 pounds, he has a very good build as an outside linebacker, and has shown some true versatility at the position to play both in pass rush and coverage with strong capabilities.  When up against the Atlanta Falcons this Friday, he had a strong showing in his first NFL game, putting up the following statline:

  • 2 tackles, 1 assisted tackle, 2 TFL
  • 1.5 sacks, 1 pass deflected

For a new player coming out of the 4th round of the draft, he was able to show off that he can utilize pass rush moves to get to and bring down the QB, as well as making plays on the ballcarriers to force loss of yards.  If he can continue to put up complete stat lines like this, he could find his way into the starting linebacker rotation at some point this season.

Why the New Orleans Saints may currently not have a long term QB option

Who is the Saints QB of the future?

By: Jeremy Trottier

The New Orleans Saints are tasked with something they have not had to deal with since 2006, in that they have to figure out who their starting QB is.  With four quarterbacks on the roster currently, they have to see how training camps and preseason plays out to make that decision.  With that said, there is the chance that none of these quarterbacks are their long term starter, and they could be drafting one early on come next NFL draft season.  In this article, I will be going over why each of the Saints rostered QBs is not a long term option as of right now.

Jameis Winston

The QB most Saints fans at this point believe to be the starter for 2021, and rationally that should be the case.  The potential Jameis has is sky high, however as many have mentioned to this point, we also know the lows of Jameis as a QB too.  The most blatantly obvious being his decision making.  Throwing 30 interceptions in a season does not solely happen because you are in an Air Raid offensive scheme, nor does it just happen because your eyesight is not up to par. 

His decision making is one of the faults of his type of playing style, we saw it when he was at Florida State too.  With Sean Payton as your head coach, a coach who likes consistency and playing the short “dink and dunk” type offense where short to intermediate passing is key, interceptions kill that thinking in seconds.  If Jameis has not changed his ways and truly learned what throws NOT to make, his tenure could be short lived.

Taysom Hill

To start, he is going to be 31 by the time the 2021-2022 season starts up, which automatically puts him out of the “long term” category.  Taysom also has issues with turnovers, however in the opposite way Jameis does.  That being fumbles.  Last season Taysom had a horrible time trying to hold onto the ball, fumbling 10 times (Tied for 3rd among NFL players in 2020 behind Derek Carr and Daniel Jones both at 11).  The other thing to note is he only started four games at QB for New Orleans, and still ended up with more fumbles than passing TDs.  

Taysom also does not really have the consistency as a passer to perform as a starting QB full time.  He has accuracy on short passing, which is good for the scheme, however his intermediate to long range passing is extremely inconsistent.

Ian Book 

To be fair, as a Saints fan, I am intrigued by Ian Book to say the least.  He has traits to make it at the NFL level, potentially as a starter someday.  With that said, he is not nearly ready to take on a starting role yet at this level, and likely will not be for another two to three seasons.  He is an extremely raw prospect, with the traits to make it but he needs to learn more regarding the NFL landscape and how to play at the next level.  

He will need a few seasons to learn from Sean Payton and the rest of the coaching staff on how to build up some arm strength, as that is his heaviest weakness at the moment.  

Trevor Siemian

Trevor Siemian is somewhat relegated to career backup at this point.  When you start in 25 games over three seasons and throw a 30 touchdown to 24 interception ratio and have issues getting your completion percentage above 60% each season, you really need to take a step back and learn from someone.  Odds are Siemian is a camp arm and will stick around on the roster as a backup, provided Ian Book does not take that spot away. 

Did the Saints properly replace Drew Brees?

Should the Saints have added a QB?

by: Reese Nasser

NFL great and longtime New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced his retirement early in the off-season. While this came as no surprise considering Brees had a 20-year career, all eyes were on how the Saints would address the QB position. The Saints currently have four quarterbacks on the roster: Jameis Winston, Taysom Hill, Trevor Siemian, and rookie Ian Book. 

The Saints have options at quarterback and it is still unknown who will be QB1 once the season begins. But did the Saints make a mistake? Should they have traded for a player like Carson Wentz or moved up in the draft to take someone else? Or will the duo of Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston be enough? Let’s take a look. 

The Case for Jameis 

Jameis Winston has proven to be a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. His record of 28-42 during his six-year career can’t be all attributed to him as the teams he played on in Tampa were never great.. He showed flashes during his time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it was enough for the Saints to take a chance on him. In his last full season with the Buccaneers, he threw for 33 touchdowns and 30 interceptions; becoming the first and only player in the 30/30 club. While he has been known to be reckless on the field, he will occasionally do things like this.

Now, after spending a full season learning behind Brees and getting lasik surgery to fix his eyes, the Saints should feel comfortable handing him the keys. The risk is worth it. Brees has publicly endorsed Winston as his successor and the Saints should do the same. 

The Potential of Taysom Hill

The Saints are still clearly all in on the Taysom Hill experiment after signing him to one of the strangest contracts in NFL history. The five-year extension has four voidable years which would mean the Saints could get out of it as soon as the 2021 season ends. The 31-year old utility player will make the occasional appearance but he can’t and should not be the Saints long term plan at quarterback. While talented, he hasn’t proven to have the ability of being a QB1. 

The Rookie

The Saints selected Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book in the fourth round of this year’s draft. While Book wasn’t one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s class, he showed glimpses in college. His 72 passing touchdowns and 17 rushing touchdowns showed that he has playmaking ability.

Many analyst feel as if the Saints may have reached on this pick. Scouts had his projected draft spot in the range of rounds 5-6 yet the Saints took him in the fourth. If you felt that there was a need at quarterback, why not take one in an earlier round? At the end of the day, the Saints took a QB that they potentially see a future with somewhere down the line. So let him learn and when he’s ready, let him go ball out.

The Decision

So did the Saints make a mistake? Should they have traded up to take Justin Fields in the first? Or take a QB in the second round such as Kellon Mond or Kyle Trask? Maybe. But the Saints felt confident enough to rock with the guys that they already have on the roster. The group that they have assembled, while somewhat questionable, is still better than a decent amount of QB rooms in the NFL. So let the guys on the roster give it a shot. Give Winston the opportunity that he deserves and see if he can be what the franchise needs. The team as a whole is talented and the quarterback will make or break them. It is still too early to say that the Saints make a mistake at the QB position this off-season, but in my eyes, they made all the right moves. And if it fails and the season goes down in flames, use the first round pick next year and draft the future of the franchise. 

What to expect from Ian Book in New Orleans

Will Book be the long term QB in New Orleans?

By: Bull Walker

A new era begins for the New Orleans Saints in 2021. For the first time in fifteen seasons, the Saints will begin the season without Drew Brees under center. Since Brees announced his retirement in March, the team has started planning for the future. Jameis Winston re-signed and Taysom Hill received a contract extension. The Saints also added Notre Dame quarterback Ian Book in the 4th round of the NFL Draft. Book had a late day three grade by most draft outlets but coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis have never been shy about going against the consensus. Let’s take a look at what the Saints are getting with Book.

Why The Saints Chose Ian Book

Book leaves Notre Dame as one of the most accomplished quarterbacks in program history, finishing his career second on the school’s all-time passing list in both yards and touchdowns. A three-year starter with a career record of 30-5, Book led Notre Dame to the College Football Playoff twice in three seasons. The Fighting Irish were overmatched in both games but he never stopped competing. That competitive drive is what led to a three-star prospect becoming the all-time winningest quarterback at one of college football’s most prestigious schools.

While Book lacks the ideal size of an NFL quarterback, he possesses great intangibles. When discussing the selection of Book, Sean Payton mentioned both his competitiveness and his ability to find ways to win games. There were times when things got ugly but he remained poised. Whether it be with his arm or his legs, he found a way to make winning plays for his team. Book may be lacking physically but his mental toughness more than makes up for it.

Book doesn’t have a big arm and he will not hurt defenses vertically. He’s a timing passer who will keep plays alive with his legs. Similar to former Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. The Saints offensive scheme is based on timing throws; getting the ball out quickly and accurately to your playmakers. The scheme focuses on targeting the short and intermediate levels of the field, areas of strength for Book. As a developmental prospect, he landed in the perfect spot. Now is the time to put in the necessary work to become a successful NFL quarterback.

Future Expectations

Book is not going to compete for the starting job this season but he’s locked in as the third-string quarterback. Payton has expressed a lot of confidence in both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill so it would be surprising to see Book take the field as a rookie. Winston is only on a one-year deal and Hill’s contract is totally avoidable, so if Book looks the part then the Saints could make the transition as early as next season. That may not be likely but it is possible. The most realistic outcome is that he gets stashed and developed for a couple of seasons.

The lack of a big arm limits Book’s long-term potential. His accuracy isn’t good enough to make up for the inability to attack defenses vertically and he’s only an okay athlete. Book seems more like a high-end backup quarterback. A smart player with good intangibles that will not fold under pressure. The kind of quarterback that will keep you alive if your starter has to miss some time. Book’s intelligence and competitive drive will keep him around in NFL locker rooms as long as he improves on his accuracy.

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