Imagine this: A 6 foot 2 Quarterback that runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, weighs 221 pounds, tackles like a linebacker, and can run over anyone in his path. This beautiful blend of speed, size, and athleticism would make any coach drool, and opponents shiver in fear. Luckily, the New Orleans Saints landed that player in Taysom Hill.
Taysom Hill has become the fiery force that offensive mastermind and head coach Sean Payton leans on anytime the Saints need a big play. Taysom has lined up all over the field throughout this successful Saints season, taking snaps at QB, HB, FB, TE, WR, and on the special teams unit.
It all started in 2017 when Sean Payton brought in Taysom Hill to be the 3rd string quarterback after the Green Bay Packers waived Hill. He didn’t take a snap at QB, but in his debut, made two tackles on the kickoff team and came close to blocking not one, but two punts on the punt return team. To finish the 2017-2018 season, Taysom would be on the kickoff, kickoff return, punt, and punt return teams, this was just the beginning for Taysom, who would have many more chances to prove himself on both sides of the ball.
Hill rushed for 196 yards and two touchdowns on 37 attempts throughout the regular season. He attempted seven passes, completing 3 of them for 64 yards, no touchdowns, and an interception. Now, these stats sound pretty bad. Under 50 % completion percentage and an interception on only seven passes? How could this be the X-Factor for an offense known for being one of the greatest in the league? Well, that’s because there is one things numbers can’t show: Heart.
Taysom Hill brings an undeniable energy to an already electrifying New Orleans team. While his stats don’t show it, Saints fans know that Taysom is a guy they can always rely on to light a fire when there are no sparks in sight. For example, early in the season in the 4th quarter of a close game between the Saints and division rival Atlanta Falcons, Taysom Hill lined up at QB. Instead of passing the ball, Hill took off, showing his speed and burning past the Atlanta defense for 35 yards. The Saints would feed off this energy and score a touchdown just a few plays later. In the 3rd quarter of the December 9th game between the Saints and another division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Saints were down 14-3, playing sloppy on both sides of the ball. Insert Taysom Hill, who blocked a punt, giving the Saints offense excellent field position and the energy they needed to start their eventual comeback.
Hill has become a player without a position. On December 30th in a game against the Carolina Panthers, commentator Ronde Barber summed up Taysom perfectly. “Hill doesn’t play a position, he’s simply a football player.” And a damn good one at that.
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