The New Orleans Saints’ offense has been an incredibly well-oiled machine under head coach Sean Payton. Thus far through 2018, the Saints offense ranks at or near the top of every significant offensive statistic. Coupled with new weapons Alvin Kamara and wide receiver Michael Thomas make this team nearly unstoppable. Still, the utilization of more pieces is out there with a few new plays or wrinkles. Taysom Hill is an ingredient the Saints never had under Payton.
Taysom Hill: the ‘Slash’, the Dash, and the Exclamation Point
Jack of All Trades
Hill is not your average quarterback or player for that matter. He’s setting a precedent. There is no footage of any other quarterback making plays on special teams. Not to mention, he’s the fastest quarterback that has come out in 20 years per Troy Aikman.
If watching the clip doesn’t convince you that he’s special, watch Payton’s expression after the tackle made by Hill. The smirkish grin tells it all. And this was just the mere beginning of what has become the “The Taysom Hill Show.”
Hill looked to be the favorite for the backup quarterback position heading into the preseason. Ironically, he’s become a dynamic sensation combining running, returning, special teams, and some snaps behind center. The experiment using Hill as a mere distraction has changed mightily. And the energy that could change a game is endless when Hill is on the field.
“It’s amazing the energy he brings to the bench when he made the long run,” Payton said. “And he brings that same juice to special teams.”
This is just a sample of what Payton said about Hill after the win over the Atlanta Falcons. There is more to Hill’s magic than just his play. There is an infectious aura with Hill. In other words, he flies around like it’s high school football. Every time a play is made by a quarterback, that wasn’t supposed to be trusted to do the things he’s done, feels like an electrical charge. Words can’t explain the invisible force of ignition that Hill brings to the table.
Not to mention, trust is a huge factor under Payton. Surely, the fate of the 2018 Saints rides with future Hall of Famer Drew Brees. No one is going to argue that. However, this little bit of extra sprinkle of Hill will have defenses scratching their heads for the whole season.
Creativity Creates Copycats
Unfortunately, there is a drawback to this successful experiment. When something works in the NFL, other teams are going to be able to watch and learn from it. Additionally, the chance to copy is fair game. Look no further than the Baltimore Ravens.
Quarterback Lamar Jackson was drafted by the Ravens to be the backup for Joe Flacco. Jackson possesses more skills as a quarterback than Hill. And don’t be surprised to see a few sprinkles of Jackson this week. The success of Hill brings your own weapon against you. Hopefully, the possession of Hill can give the Saints defense some practice for some trickery from the Ravens.
Regardless, the extra spunk brought from Hill is special. He has been called upon in clutch situations before, and the season is young. Look for more snaps even with running back Mark Ingram back. Teams will at least have to account for Hill when he’s lined up. And if Hill ever starts throwing the ball, LOOK OUT!
Of course, Hill hasn’t played defense…yet. But don’t think that thought hasn’t crossed into Payton’s mind. The thought of Taysom Hill surely wasn’t in the equation for special teams either. Now it’s almost an expectation of him making plays.
Embed from Getty Images