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Dennis Allen: Spencer Rattler, Jake Haener to compete for Saints backup QB job in training camp

ns_headshot_2024-clearby:Nick Schultz07/09/24


New Orleans Saints QB Spencer Rattler
© Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

With Derek Carr and Jake Haener already on the roster, the New Orleans Saints opted to add another quarterback to its room in the NFL Draft. They selected Spencer Rattler out of South Carolina, and the expectation is he and Haener will battle it out to be Carr’s backup.

Rattler was New Orleans’ fifth-round pick this year and was one of the more interesting prospects on the board. He now finds himself going against Haener, who spent last year behind Carr and Jameis Winston on the depth chart. But with Winston now in Cleveland with the Browns, that spot is open.

As for when he hopes to make a decision on QB2, Saints coach Dennis Allen said this month will be important. Once training camp gets underway, the competition will heat up.

“That thing is going to battle out all throughout training camp,” Allen said, via ESPN’s Katherine Terrell.

Rattler is coming off one of the best seasons of his college career in 2023, throwing for 3,186 yards and 19 touchdowns. However, he fell down the board into the fifth round, which is where the Saints took him with the No. 150 overall pick.

Through the offseason program in New Orleans – OTAs and mandatory minicamp – Rattler said he’s settling in well and adjusting to the speed of the NFL. Later this month, that will ramp up a level when training camp begins and things start to speed up even more, and he’ll be ready.

“Obviously we haven’t been in full pads, full speed yet, but just getting timing down with the plays, listening to your feet, I think that’s the biggest thing,” Rattler said, via ESPN. “But I’m getting used to it.”

Dennis Allen: Saints were ‘excited’ Spencer Rattler was still on the board

Even despite that fall, Allen said he still wants the rookie to come in and battle. That could eventually lead him to a QB1 opportunity down the road.

“The plan is that he comes in and really basically competes, and we’ll let the cards kind of play out as they do,” Dennis Allen told Rich Eisen.

Six quarterbacks went in the first 12 picks of the NFL Draft. Rattler was the next QB off the board, taken with the No. 150 pick. Allen feels like the Saints got a steal.

“I think we were excited about the fact that we got into the fifth round and he was still there. From where we had him graded on our board, we felt like this player was probably more of a second or third round talent,” Allen said. “And the fact that he was still sitting there in the fifth round, I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that there were six quarterbacks already taken in this draft.

“And that’s a little bit of a unique position in terms of the draft. So the fact that he fell all the way to us in the fifth round, we were really excited about that.”

Matt Connolly contributed to this report.