If Drew Brees can’t play, will Saints go with Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston?

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Last year, when quarterback Drew Brees missed five games with a thumb injury, the Saints turned to the No. 2 quarterback on their depth chart, Teddy Bridgewater. This year, the next man up (based on the same officially unofficial depth chart that pointed to Bridgewater last year) is Taysom Hill, not Jameis Winston.

Yes, Hill was the No. 3 option in 2019. This year, he’s No. 2.

So if, as expected, Brees will miss some time due to a ribs or rib or shoulder or whatever injury, will it be the next man up or the next man after?

On Sunday, Winston entered the game after Brees exited. Which makes sense, given that the Saints had baked a Hill package into the game plan. With a full week to prepare for an opponent (this week, the Falcons),  coach Sean Payton could decide to use Hill instead of Winston.

Some will say that the Saints could still use the Hill package, if Winston plays quarterback. But if the Saints have only two healthy quarterbacks, Hill likely will focus on being the game-day backup, not the jack-of-all-trades option.

At the end of the day, every coach wants to put his best 11 players on the field. If Brees does indeed miss time, we’ll find out whether Payton regards Hill or Winston as one of the best 11 offensive players.

21 responses to “If Drew Brees can’t play, will Saints go with Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston?

  1. The smart play would be to play Winston as he is a starting caliber QB at the pro level. And a baetter option than half of the teams have starting now.

    However, the money the Saints oddly gave Hill, they will need to find out if he has what it takes to be a NFL starting QB.

  2. Winston is a talented quarterback, but he has shown that he can’t eliminate the dumb mistakes that go along with his upside. You don’t throw for 5,000 yards and 30 TDs by accident. If he can buy into the Saints style of offense, there’s a chance he can actually have it running better than Brees did. Hill has a unique skillset but hasn’t shown that he can “run” an offense outside of a few hand-tailored packages. I think Payton rolls with Winston and keeps Hill as the “wildcat” QB.

  3. Obviously Jameis Winston. No question. Taysom will still come in for his little gadget plays.

    Drew is going to be out 4 weeks minimum.

  4. Either go with Hill full time, or go with Winston and continue to use Hill like they always have. But the constant swap out every possession will not allow either of them to settle into a groove.

  5. If only Brees had been injured some other time in recent memory so we could look at a historic example to see if Hill would be made the starter…

  6. Jameis Winston threw for 5000 yards last season, and in his career is like 12th all-time in yards per attempt.
    With Sean Payton mentoring him, I would say the future is brilliant!

  7. I wish they’d just go with Hill and see how he does so the rest of the world wouldn’t have to keep hearing about this guy’s vast starting QB potential every other day.

  8. Jameis has a better arm than both Brees and Hill and opens up the playbook for Sean Payton. He will start.

  9. This is not entirely accurate. Hill is ALWAYS the number 3 QB in terms of who would start the next game if Brees couldn’t go despite what the weekly depth chart may say. He is often listed at 2 because most teams only activate 2 QBs for a game and Hill needs to be active for all of the other things he does.

    Just like last year, when it was always understood that Bridgewater would start the next game if Brees went down, there is no question that Winston is the starter if Brees can’t go.

  10. Turnover margin is often the difference in win or losing a game… Winston has an exstinsive history of throwing pick 6 tocstart games, end half, beginning of half and to end games with a lose…. He will always be wreckless and undependable because it is now ingrained in his muscle memory to play careless under pressure…
    If the Saints take that risk, they will most likely regret it like the Bucs did!

  11. Why is this even a question? The “unprepared guy” went in over the “prepared” backup. Stop playing into the Saints manipulation that Hill is a franchise QB. He’s a gimmick.

  12. Not a big Saints fan, but I would be interested to see what Sean Payton can do with Winston under center. Payton is considered one of the top 3 or 4 coaches in the NFL. This would be like finally seeing what Belichick can do without Brady.

  13. Jameis Winston threw for 5000 yards last seaso

    Winston had that many yards, but it was because he threw the ball too much. He had 33 TDs, BUT had 30 interceptions, last year. So he got the yards but lost the games. That’s not what a team needs.

  14. Jameis Winston will be the starting quarterback because Hill is involved in so many other ways in the Saints offense. He is called a “gadget” player by fans who obviously don’t know what a gadget play is. Hill’s multiple uses in the offense creates confusion for defenses who have to immediately decide whether he is a runner, a receiver, a blocker or a passer. He can do all of those things when Winston is at quarterback. Winston can only do one thing–pass the football and that has proved to be a real adventure! I don’t know if Hill will ever be pure NFL quarterback, but, as a Saints fan, I’m comfortable with his having the ball in his hands when it’s third down and three yards to go.

  15. Sean will hold his cards close to his chest, but there won’t be any surprises. Winston is a pro style QB and will get as many reps with the receivers as possible in practice, so he can lock down some timing. Winston will be the starter. His weaknesses are reading defenses, ball security, and forcing throws to the opponent’s defensive backs. He’s got Kamara and the short throws will be there bc of that incredible offensive line, which he never had in Tampa; just ask Brady!

    You have to be very careful with Hill! He’s your 2nd string QB. You can’t have him running full back dives and covering punts and special teams. If Winston or Hill go down, you have one QB left. If they both get banged up, you’re running the wild cat every play or asking the receivers, who played some QB at State???

    Fortunately, the Saints have the Falcons the next two out of three games, the Eagles in Philly, and a much favorable schedule, than the other top three teams in the NFC. If the Saints defense can force some turnovers and the team can win three out of the next four, they may still have a shot at the one seed, when Brees returns, and get the bye week!

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