Taysom Hill has become a stellar special-teams player with plenty of promise at quarterback. Mike Westhoff, who served as special-teams coordinator with the Saints in 2017 and 2018, praised Hill’s skills in an early-January interview with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio.
“Take a look at Baltimore,” Westhoff said when discussing Hill’s skill set. “It’s the same kind of guy. Taysom Hill does those same kind of things. I think he throws better.”
Let’s be clear on this. Westhoff, an NFL special-teams coach from 1986 through 2018, isn’t saying Lamar Jackson doesn’t throw well; Jackson was the unanimous MVP for a reason. Westhoff is simply saying that he personally believes Hill, whom Westhoff observed for two years in practice, throws better. Which is a very boldly statement but, given Westhoff’s time with the Saints, hardly uninformed, at least as it relates to Westhoff’s knowledge of Hill.
Westhoff also predicted that, in time, Hill will become the starter with the Saints.
“I think you’ll see an offense that’s similar to Baltimore, that can do a lot of different things,” Westhoff said of a potential Taysom Hill-based attack in New Orleans. “And Sean Payton is an extremely qualified coach, and he’s very, very creative.”
Indeed, it’s far more likely that Hill will become a star player if he sticks with Payton, a master at designing plays that create mismatches between his players and opposing defenses. Payton constantly looks for new ideas, and he knows how to filter the ones that will work with his personnel.
Put simply, Payton does things that his players do well, and Payton avoids things that his players don’t do well, while constantly exploiting the weaknesses in the defense his team is facing in any given week. That approach has helped make Drew Brees one of the best quarterbacks ever — and it could help make Hill one of the best quarterbacks currently in the league.