Taysom Hill played 241 offensive snaps last season, most of them at positions other than quarterback in the Saints offense. He will continue in that role this season, Sean Payton said Wednesday, but Hill will add another duty.
Hill also will serve as the Saints’ backup quarterback behind Drew Brees.
“Taysom has earned this opportunity to be our [No.] 2,” Payton said on WWL Radio, via Jeff Duncan of TheAthletic.com, “but he also has earned the opportunity to play and help us win football game as a one. What I mean by that, whether you call him a receiver, a tight end, a specialist [or] also a quarterback, he’s going to play. He’s too good a football player. He’s one of our better football players.”
When Brees missed five games last season, it was Teddy Bridgewater, not Hill, who started at quarterback. Bridgewater, though, has departed for Carolina with his signing becoming official Wednesday.
Payton said the Saints still need to sign another quarterback who will be active on game day. That will provide the Saints with insurance in case both Brees and Hill are injured in the same game.
The Saints had all three quarterbacks active for most of last season aside from when Brees was out of the lineup with his injury.
“You need a third quarterback dressed on the sidelines,” Payton said. “Because on any given play, Taysom could come over to the sideline and his right thumb or finger could be pointing east and west, and if that happens, you don’t have a backup quarterback. But I would say coming into the season, he’s going to be our second-string quarterback and obviously going to play a number of snaps, not only at quarterback but a number of positions.”