Now that Drew Brees has officially retired — a move the quarterback anticipated entering the 2020 season — the Saints’ focus at signal-caller has shifted to the upcoming competition between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill.
Even though both players have starting experience, and Hill has taken plenty of snaps at QB over the last few years with Brees in the game, head coach Sean Payton doesn’t sound like someone inclined to run a two-quarterback system.
Rich Eisen asked Payton about doing just that during an interview on Eisen’s show this week. As Payton explained it, New Orleans is looking for a clear and definitive QB1.
“I think the furthest we went with that would’ve been when everyone was healthy and Taysom was playing I’ll call it maybe eight to 10 plays at quarterback — I would never discount that. But I would say this, [Hill] knows and so does Jameis that we’re looking to find a guy that’s going to lead our team this year,” Payton said. “And that doesn’t mean the other guy is not going to have a role. But certainly, it varies. If Jameis is starting, obviously Taysom has a role that expands not only just offensively, but on special teams, etc. And if it’s the other way around, it’s probably a little bit more limited just relative to what Jameis would do.”
Payton noted that he still sees quarterback Trevor Siemian as a “young guy” and the team just drafted Notre Dame’s Ian Book. The plan is to “see what those guys have.” But Winston and Hill are the top contenders to take over for Brees.
“The transition has begun and we look at then a lot of what we’re going to do offensively based on who’s doing it and how do we put an offense around those players or that player,” Payton said. “So I think there’s a little bit in flux relative to who’s starting and then the role each player has. Some of that will be training-camp driven.”