The Saints need Taysom Hill to be successful to a fault.
New Orleans gave Hill $21 million over the course of a three-year contract in a much-maligned decision. Since, Hill’s been used primarily as a change-of-pace quarterback, coming in to run the Saints’ version of the wildcat. That’ll all change on Sunday, when Hill takes snaps as the starting quarterback in place of Drew Brees, who suffered a severe rib injury last week. So, what should Saints fans expect?
Sean Payton will be delicate with Hill early. It’s nothing new for the Saints, as they’ve made excuses for Hill every step of the way when he doesn’t perform up to par. You can add another example from Friday, when quarterbacks coach Joe Lombardi claimed Hill can’t be blamed for his past incomplete passes. Seriously.
Despite some weird offensive packages, Hill has had ample opportunity to make an impact in the passing game
In fact, Hill’s path to success on Sunday is far tougher than usual. The BYU product is used in run-first packages, meaning any time he throws he’s facing an eight-man front, or a defense aimed at stopping the run. So, if he fails to complete passes at a high rate against those defense, why should we expect anything different against a Falcons team prepping for Hill as a passer?
The Saints decision to go with Hill over Jameis Winston was a controversial one, but not something we should be surprised by at this point. Payton wants to see what he has in Hill, a player signed beyond this season and a potential heir apparent for Brees. If he struggles, then the Saints know they need to look elsewhere. If Hill succeeds, then Payton can rely heavily on him moving forward.