LOCALS IN THE NFL

Saints Head Coach On Taysom Hill: ‘His Performance Demands’ Opportunities

Jan 7, 2020, 7:23 PM | Updated: 7:39 pm

Taysom Hill - New Orleans Saints - Minnesota Vikings...

Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints celebrates after catching a touchdown pass during the fourth quarter against the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Wild Card Playoff game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

NEW ORLEANS, La. – New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton said that former BYU and current Saints back quarterback Taysom Hill received the playing time in the team’s NFC Wild Card playoff game because “his performance demands those opportunities.”

Payton, Hill, and the Saints were defeated at home by the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, January 5. New Orleans struggled to move the ball during much of the game but was able to push the game into overtime before falling 26-20.

Hill played a critical role for the Saints’ offense against the Vikings including a 50-yard pass that set up the team’s first touchdown of the game. The third-string quarterback led New Orleans’ rushing attack with the most yards as well as a block on a touchdown run by Alvin Kamara. Hill also caught a 20-yard TD pass from Drew Brees with less than 11 minutes to go in regulation.

Payton Talks Taysom

Two days after the loss, Payton spoke to the media about Hill’s social media buzzing performance during his end-of-season press conference.

“He was exceptional Sunday,” said Payton. “I mean he was outstanding.”

The former Cougar signal-caller finished the game with an impressive stat line. He threw 1/1 for 50 yards, carried the ball 4 times for 50 yards, and caught 2 passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.

“The more and more you kept watching, the more and more we felt like he’s one of our better players and needs to be on the field,” said Payton.

He is the only player in NFL postseason history to record such a stat line.

Payton said that Hill’s role with the Saints “evolved more” throughout the season as they saw him play. The coach highlighted the “read-option element to when he’s playing quarterback” but also his 50-yard bomb against the Vikings saying “he’s got really good arm strength.”

Brees has even nicknamed his backup a “unicorn” for his talents and ability to play multiple positions.

“He’s an exciting football player and he does a lot of things well,” continued Payton.

Hill’s Future

Hill’s season was his third with New Orleans. He’s been with the Saints since 2017 when he signed a three-year, $1.66 million dollar contract according to Rotoworld. He will become a restricted free agent this offseason.

The Saints will have the option to retain the backup QB with a one-year tender or a new contract. It’s also possible that another team could lure Hill away in free agency.

At his end-of-season presser, Payton sounded like a coach wanting to keep his unique player when he stated, “I’m glad he’s on our team.”

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Saints Head Coach On Taysom Hill: ‘His Performance Demands’ Opportunities