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New Orleans Saints rookie quarterback Jake Haener is drawing some attention early in his NFL career, but it has nothing to do with his on-field work.
It has everything to do with his rookie photo shoot that looks like the bastard child of a GQ photo shoot and a late-night Sears Photo Studio binge back in the day.
For official athlete portraits, there are only a few options that ever come into play. One is to bust out a grin, another is to look tough, while on some occasions, “crazy eyes” gets thrown into the mix (looking at you Brandon Tanev).
But the 24-year-old out of Fresno State took it to another level. He stunted on the unsuspecting photographer with faces and poses the likes of which the gridiron has not seen in quite some time, if ever.
Those are phenomenal. They look like headshots someone who auditioned for Friday Night Lights would’ve taken to show off their range.
I don’t know if Haener is going to be the key ingredient in putting things back on track in the Big Easy. However, he is definitely “Locker Room Guy” material at the very least. That counts for something.
High marks to Haener for having some fun with his rookie photo shoot. However, if he wants to see any meaningful playing time, he’ll need more than just his best Blue Steel.
As it stands, Haener is listed as third on the Saints depth chart behind recently acquired Derek Carr and returning signal-caller Jameis Winston.
Having said that, Haener has been on the field already. So far he is proving himself capable of performing without mugging for the camera.
Although, that one was pretty far away. Maybe he just didn’t see it.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle