After Further Review: Not a shocking move for Saints to turn to Taysom Hill

Saints head coach Sean Payton looks to his playbook as Taysom Hill stands by awaiting direction
Saints head coach Sean Payton looks to his playbook as Taysom Hill stands by awaiting direction(Edwin Goode, WVUE-FOX 8)
Published: Nov. 20, 2020 at 11:14 AM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -It’s finally here.

If the reports are accurate, ‘Taysom Time’ officially arrives Sunday for the Saints against Atlanta.

After three and a half years of talking him up, Sean Payton will give the ball to the man he once compared to Steve Young.

During that time span, Taysom Hill has done everything the Saints have asked and done them well. He’s run-blocked, he’s blocked punts, he’s ran down kickoffs, he’s caught passes, he’s run the ball and of course, he’s thrown it too.

But if the true goal of Hill is to be a franchise quarterback, now is as good of a time as any to see if he truly has what it takes to be the guy after Drew Brees.

This move will be met with skepticism. In fact, the Taysom Hill hate parade is already rolling on social media. The usual suspects, who’ve made it a point to mock Payton’s intrigue with Hill at every turn, have already ripped the move.

Part of that skepticism is understandable. There’s a limited sample size with him at quarterback. When he’s in, it’s usually power right, power left, zone read and the occasional drop back that more often than not ends up with Hill taking off and running.

But just because that’s what he’s done as part-time quarterback doesn’t mean that’s what he’s going to do when he’s the guy taking every snap. With the freedom of being the guy on every play, Hill could feel less restricted and will likely show a different side of his game.

The only realistic time we’ve seen this was last preseason. Against the Chargers, he was the best player on the field and engineered a second half comeback. Hill shined all of last August, but obviously dominating second half preseason personnel is not the same as starting on a November Sunday against your biggest rival.

Payton understands all of this. He also understands that these games are too important to roll the dice on a wild card. He’s undoubtedly gone through the assesment of whether it’s best overall to have Hill as the jack-of-all trades or touching the ball every play at quarterback. Both options present potential and risk. At the end of it all, Payton has to go with the guy that gives his team the best chance to win. It’s about trust in getting the job done. And right now he trusts Taysom more.

Perhaps that’s surprising to some, but not to anyone that’s been close to this team for any length of time. With no offseason and limited practice and game reps, Jameis Winston hasn’t earned that complete trust yet. That’s not to say he won’t get there eventually. If Hill doesn’t perform, Payton could very easily make the switch to Winston.

But for at least one Sunday, ‘Taysom Time’ is here.

And I must say I’m intrigued to see how it turns out.

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