KSL UNRIVALED

NFL Teams Are Trying To Find Their Own Taysom Hill

May 9, 2020, 8:24 PM | Updated: Jun 3, 2020, 1:32 pm

Jalen Hurts - Taysom Hill...

(Photos by Getty Images)

(Photos by Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The National Football League is a league full of copy cats. Once one team attempts something new and is successful with it, other teams follow suit to see if it will work for them.

One of the most notable recent fads in the NFL was the “Wildcat” offense. This offensive tweak has been around for about 100 years with the late Pop Warner using it in his single-wing offense.

At the NFL level, it was used sporadically before it became wildly popular and effective for the Miami Dolphins in 2008 with running back Ronnie Brown. The Dolphins brought out the formation in full force to surprise the New England Patriots and in six snaps, Brown scored five times.

After the Dolphins surprise use of “The Wildcat,” other teams used it to varying degrees of success and now it is rarely seen.

NFL Teams Mimicking Taysom Hill’s Role?

There is no denying what Taysom Hill has done with the New Orleans Saints in a one-of-a-kind situation. Hill is listed as a quarterback but he plays all over the field. He has been seen making plays on special teams, running the ball, catching the ball,  and making plays under center.

The Philadelphia Eagles, who despite having Carson Wentz as the starting quarterback, drafted Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts in the second round.

KSLSports.com’s Scott Mitchell knows a thing or two about being an NFL quarterback and also knows Eagles head coach Doug Pederson. Mitchell and Pederson were teammates on the Dolphins.

Mitchell sees the Eagles using Hurts in a position like Hill because of how athletic the former Oklahoma quarterback is.

“This is all about Taysom Hill. You have these creative offensive minds like Doug Pederson, he is like Sean Payton, Andy Reid, and some of these other guys in the league,” Mitchell said. “They all said, ‘look at what is going on with Taysom Hill?’ He is a guy that continues to be a hybrid-type player and you can take Taysom Hill as a tight end in fantasy football.

“They are recognizing not just the New Orleans Saints but other teams in the league are recognizing the value in Taysom Hill,” Mitchell added. “That is what they are seeing in Jalen Hurts. Here is a guy who can come in and be a very effective part of the offense. It is so valuable, they are willing to pay Taysom Hill over $10 million a year and spend a second-round draft choice, if you are the Philadelphia Eagles, to find a player like that. Jalen Hurts is a very similar type of player to Taysom Hill.”

There was a lot of speculation as to why they would draft a backup quarterback early in the draft, especially with what Wentz has achieved so far in his career at a young age.

Mitchell is not alone in thinking Hurts could be used like Hill. Pederson was pretty clear after picking Hurts, that he could compare to other backups who come in for situational play.

“I think this player, obviously with Jalen Hurts, he has a unique skill set and you see what Taysom Hill has done in New Orleans,” Pederson said. “Now he and Drew Brees have a connection there and a bond there. You look at with [Joe] Flacco and Lamar [Jackson] in Baltimore in the short period of time, how they gelled together.

Pederson went on to say that Hurts’ and the Eagles’ top priority is that he is a quarterback and is going to be developed as a quarterback, but his athleticism is something they can’t afford to have on the bench.

Odds are the backup or third-string quarterback seeing significant time is going to very rare. It will take a special coach and player to make this type of combination work. If it works in one place there are going to be a few teams to at least give a try and try to replicate that success.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast. 

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NFL Teams Are Trying To Find Their Own Taysom Hill