August 19, 2002

Saints Drop QB Jeff Lewis, Ensuring O'Sullivan a Spot

When the Saints drafted QB J.T. O'Sullivan in the fifth round of the NFL Draft this past April, the thought was that the rookie would be able to push veteran Jeff Lewis for the third quarterback job.

The competition is over.

The Saints have released Lewis, who was signed shortly after the 2001-2 season ended. The Saints, who knew they would be releasing veteran Jeff Blake in the offseason, needed a third quarterback for the Saints' offseason quarterback school.

Lewis, a physically talented but unproven veteran who was once the highly-regarded heir to John Elway's job in Denver, has flunked out of his past two training camps. Lewis started Carolina's 2001 training camp as the starter, but was released.

Lewis, who played in only three snaps so far in preseason, lost seventeen yards and a fumble on two sacks. The fumble, recovered by the Texans at the Saints' six-yard line, set up the game-winning 27-yard field goal.

The ex-Bronco and ex-Panther played in only one series in the beginning of the fourth quarter against Houston.

O'Sullivan, a strong-bodied quarterback from the University of California-Davis, a division II school, has not fared much better in training camp, but has received significant playing time in both games so far. O'Sullivan is 2 of 12 for 16 yards and two interceptions so far, including three sacks and one 11-yard scramble. A fiery, intense quarterback who was tossed from a game his senior year for fighting, O'Sullivan is built like a linebacker at 6'2", 223 pounds. An intelligent player with good leadership skills, O'Sullivan also has good running skills.

O'Sullivan did not return to Louisiana with the Saints after their preseason game in Miami. He flew to his home in Carmichael, California to tend to a family illness. He was back with the team for Sunday's night's practice.

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