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Saints heaping praise on Taysom Hill at OTAs

Saints backup quarterback Taysom Hill was something of an NFL curiosity last season: An undrafted rookie, he obviously wasn’t going to get any playing time ahead of Drew Brees, but he did get playing time on special teams and even made some tackles covering kicks, which is almost unheard of for a quarterback.

Last year Hill was the third-string quarterback behind Brees and Chase Daniel, but this year he’s competing with Tom Savage and J.T. Barrett for the No. 2 job, and the Saints are liking what they’re seeing.

He looks good,” Saints coach Sean Payton said of Hill. “We like where he is at. He is grinding and working hard. You guys saw [him make] a play today. When he does get outside the pocket, he can run, real fast. That presents a new challenge for the defense.”

Saints quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi gushed about Hill’s athleticism.

“Every great quarterback has to have a way of making a play when the play call isn’t perfect,” Lombardi said. “Someone’s not open right away, or the pressure gets to you, and you have certain guys like Tom Brady or Drew, they do it by finding these creative throws or getting the ball out so quick and having that sixth sense of where to go with the ball. Other guys get away from the rush, and they get outside the pocket, and they create. You see Aaron Rodgers and those kind of guys make plays that way. Just the ability to avoid the rush. The guy runs a sub-4.5 40, and he’s strong — he might be the strongest guy on the team.”

Strength and speed are why Hill was able to help out on special teams, but passing accuracy are what he needs to develop if he wants to be a quarterback. Playing behind Brees, Hill has time to develop. And perhaps some day, Hill could even be Brees’ successor.