The Saints are saving Taysom Hill for something, but what?

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It’s way too early to have the conversation as to whether Father Time has placed Drew Brees in jeopardy of being benched. By Monday, based on whether and to what extent the Packers shred the Saints, it may no longer be premature.

Here’s a question that isn’t premature: What are the Saints doing with Taysom Hill?

As noted last week, his participation in offense and special teams dropped noticeably from the playoff loss to Week One. In Week Two, Hill’s involvement dropped ever further.

Against the Raiders, Hill took the field for 19 total plays — 14 on offense and five on special teams. That translates to 23 percent of the offensive snaps and 19 percent of the special-teams plays.

Given the money they’ve given to Hill, the question becomes whether the Saints are protecting Hill. The dramatically reduced involvement in special teams (he participated in 84 percent of the special-teams snaps in the postseason game) suggests that they’re concerned about keeping him healthy. Which suggests that they’re keeping him ready to play quarterback.

On one hand, it could be a hedge against a possible injury to Brees. On the other hand, it could be a sign that everything is on the table, including the possibility that Brees will eventually land on the bench.

For now, that’s still highly unlikely. Regardless, the Saints surely didn’t give Hill a two-year deal with $16 million in guaranteed money without a plan. Since the plan apparently isn’t to unleash Hill, common sense suggests that the plan may be to save him for something more significant.

It continues to be believed that Hill will potentially succeed Brees in 2021. If that’s when Hill will be playing, however, there’s no reason to shrink so significantly his role in 2020.

Only coach Sean Payton knows why Hill is being used so much less and whether it’s a clue regarding potential plans for later in 2020. Regardless, the sharp reduction in Hill’s involvement justifies speculation as to the reason for it, and one of those potential reasons for it is the possibility, remote as it may currently be, that Hill will be playing quarterback before 2021.

12 responses to “The Saints are saving Taysom Hill for something, but what?

  1. Also, what is the plan for Winston? Trading him to the Broncos would have made sense before they signed Bortles

  2. Right now he is Brees successor, I wouldn’t have him out there for any special teams. I think being on the field for almost a quarter of their plays is still quite involved with the offence, he is after all the #2 QB.

  3. Taysom is a legend in his own mind, he’s nothing more than a versatile gadget player, he is not a good quarterback as he seems to think he is.

  4. This is like wondering why they’re not throwing bombs every down or blitzing every single play.
    Guys like Hill work best in small doses. He’s not an every down QB and it’s obvious the Saints realize this since they’ve never made him one. Last year they started Bridgewater all 5 games that Brees was hurt. Bridgewater left and what did they do? Immediately signed another every down QB in Winston. Gee, if Brees gets hurt this year I wonder what they’ll do this time around?

  5. I just wonder why leave brees on the field in a reciever position when hill is in at qb. Wouldn’t another reciever be of more value as an option or decoy, and could block if needed?

  6. As with other NFL quarterbacks, Drew Brees is one hit away from serious injury. Taysom Hill, not Winston, is the back-up quarterback. Hill will be the next Saints starting quarterback and that isn’t open for debate anymore. If things start going south for the Saints offense, there will be pressure to use Hill more in his old role, which will expose him to injury and leave the Saints with Winston as their only option.

  7. Winston is the Saints future.
    5100 yard season and , I believe 11th all time in yards per completion.
    Payton will turn him into an unstoppable Juggernaut

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