Drew Brees is one of the best QBs to ever play in the NFL. Brees was never viewed as the guy in the NFL because he played in the same eras as Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. However, it is hard to argue with his career record and passing stats. Brees recently shared his thoughts on how NFL teams deal with rookie QBs.

“Bottom line is this, I think the best thing that all these rookie quarterbacks can do is sit for a period of time,” Brees said on the Dan Patrick Show. “I don't know if that's a full season, part of a season, but I do have a formula in my mind for I think when a QB ends up being ready to play at the next level. Every guy's going to be a little bit different, but I think it has to do with the combination of the experience that they have leaving college, you know the type of system that they've been in in college, and then how much time they sit in the NFL.”

Brees seems to suggest that all rookie QBs need some time on the bench.

“I think it's very beneficial for a guy to sit for a period of time behind a veteran quarterback,” Brees said.

It's no surprise that Brees has a high opinion of this strategy. He sat behind Doug Flutie for all 16 games during his rookie year in San Diego. Brees was then named the starter in the 2002 season and succeeded with the Chargers before being traded to New Orleans.

Brees suggests Pittsburgh tries a Taysom Hill type package for Justin Fields

A New Orleans Saints fan resembling quarterback Drew Brees (9) holds a sign during the fourth quarter of a NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Minnesota Vikings
© Derick Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

He also used Justin Fields as an example for an interesting Saints-inspired idea.

“I’ll give you the Bears as an example,” Brees said. “Justin Fields obviously had, has an incredible skill set and I’m excited to see how Pittsburgh uses him this year. I would actually envision a situation where it’s almost like a Taysom Hill type package you know like we had in New Orleans, where Russell Wilson’s your starting quarterback, Justin Fields is getting 7 to 10 snaps a game.”

Of course Brees would be a fan of the Taysom Hill package. It would be interesting to see the Steelers try to get Fields on the field as a weapon in 2024.

“How problematic would that be for a defense, he can come in and do many things explosively in the run game, and the pass game, why wouldn’t they have started him off that way as a rookie.”

Justin Fields is an interesting example with the Steelers, but also of why it is beneficial to give rookies time to develop. Fields took over in Week 3 of his rookie season after veteran Any Dalton suffered a knee injury.

Should NFL teams still be sitting rookie QBs? 

Over the years, more and more teams have chosen to start rookie QBs right away in Week 1. It used to be normal for rookie QBs to sit for a period of time, sometimes an entire season, before becoming the starter.

There are arguments for both approaches when examining modern rookie QBs.

The 2021 NFL Draft class of QBs has made headlines this offseason as failing spectacularly quickly, save Trevor Lawrence. Perhaps these rookies could have benefited from more of an adjustment period to the league.

On the other hand, we've seen rookie QBs come into the league and have success right away. Joe Burrow and CJ Stroud spring to mind as QBs who have seamlessly stepped into starting jobs and thrived.

There may be no right approach to QBs in the NFL.