Uniqueness of Taysom Hill creates need for reliable third quarterback

Uniqueness of Taysom Hill creates need for reliable third quarterback
Saints quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Teddy Bridgewater overlap on the field during a 2019 game when Drew Brees was out with a hand injury (Source: Mark Lagrange)

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Taysom Hill’s one-of-a-kind rise to being a household name started with Troy Aikman mentioning during special teams action that Sean Payton had high hopes for the backup quarterback sprinting down the field on kickoff coverage. The lasting memory in the 2020 offseason is Hill sparking an otherwise enigmatic offense in an eventual Wild Card loss to the Vikings. Through it all, Payton has reinforced and elevated the idea that Hill is the franchise’s quarterback of the future after Drew Brees.

In 2020, Brees will be first choice meaning Hill will continue his crusades in nearly every aspect of the game while also having an increased presence at quarterback, according to Payton. The only dilemma this jack-of-all-trades approach creates is the inevitable increased risk of injury leaving the Saints shorthanded “The uniqueness of Taysom’s role will make it important for us to have a third quarterback,” Payton declared to reporters on an April 1st conference call. “What we are looking for in that third quarterback is another player we want to develop, work with and improve and someone that we feel like either we acquire through the draft potentially, through free agency. We’ll look at all means relative to where that player can come from. We’re not specifically saying that has to be a player that comes through the draft. We’re not saying it has to be a veteran player. It’ll be the best available player that we feel like fits our program. But we know that with what we want to do with Taysom that we’re going to have not only the third quarterback, but that quarterback is going to be up on game day.”

Despite Payton’s consistent messaging this offseason that Hill replacing Brees is the plan, many draft analysts continue to connect the Saints’ 24th overall selection in the draft to Utah State product Jordan Love. Payton discloses that his staff met with Love virtually, although Payton was not present “We just finished him. I see real good arm talent and a player that has a great release. He can throw from out of the pocket. He can throw inside the pocket. He turned the ball over a lot this season. I think he was above 30 when you looked at his interceptions and fumbles (combined). They had a coaching change though that I think hurt him to some degree, but (he’s) someone that obviously is a talented prospect that’s probably going to get drafted in the first couple of rounds of this draft, first or second round of this draft.”

Since 2006, the Saints have only drafted two quarterbacks - Garrett Grayson in the third round of 2015 and Sean Canfield in the seventh round of 2010.

Copyright 2020 WVUE. All rights reserved.