LOCALS IN THE NFL

Saints QB Taysom Hill Details Path To Starting Following Drew Brees’ Injury

Dec 9, 2020, 3:28 PM
Taysom Hill - New Orleans Saints...
Taysom Hill #7 of the New Orleans Saints looks to pass during the first quarter of a game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on November 29, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Former BYU star Taysom Hill detailed his journey to getting a start at quarterback for New Orleans when Saints starting quarterback Drew Brees went on Injured Reserve.

Taysom Hill’s opportunity

Before the season began, Saints head coach Sean Payton said that Hill would be Brees’ primary backup but many people wondered if the former BYU quarterback would get his chance if the opportunity arose. New Orleans’ signing of Heisman Trophy winner and former NFL starter Jameis Winston fueled the Hill’s doubters.

During the Saints’ Week 10 matchup with the San Francisco 49ers, Brees suffered multiple injuries, including broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

Days later, New Orleans placed Brees on the organization’s Injured Reserve, which meant he would miss a minimum of three games.

Payton named Hill the team’s starting quarterback beginning with their game against the Atlanta Falcons in Week 11.

Hill discussed his opportunity to start for the Saints during a recent interview on The Rich Eisen Show.

“Coach and I had a few conversations through training camp and as we finalized training camp we had a conversation. The plan was always, because my role was so unique, that [if] something happened that Drew [Brees] midgame that Jameis [Winston] would finish the game,” Hill told Rich Eisen. “Just because we didn’t want to lose two people because of what I’d be doing that game. And then the next week that I would have an opportunity to go. So that was our conversation. That was my expectation going into the season. And so I wasn’t surprised when it played out that way.”

Eisen asked the former BYU great what it meant that Payton kept his word to give him an opportunity to start.

“Look I trust Coach Payton. It means a lot,” Hill replied. “Obviously, sometimes you can have conversations and then people go back on their word but I would say that my experience with Coach has always been really positive. Where he’s certainly a man of his word but he’s a guy that if he believes in you, he creates opportunities for you. That’s really all he’s done for me since I’ve been in New Orleans, is created opportunities for me and that’s really all you can ask for as a player.”

Hill added that he’s also trusted his abilities, including through his injury-riddled career at BYU. He said he hopes that one day “he’s the guy.”

Taysom Hill as a starting quarterback

In the three games that Hill has started for New Orleans, the team has gone 3-0, with two wins over the Falcons and one over the Denver Broncos.

As a starter, Hill is 54/76 passing for 543 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. He had a completion rate of 71.1 percent.

On the ground in those three contests, Hill ran the ball 34 times for 176 yards and four touchdowns.

Up Next

The Saints’ next game is against the Philadelphia Eagles (3-8-1) on Sunday, December 13 at 2:25 p.m. (MDT).

Brees is eligible to be activated for the game against the Eagles. If he isn’t ready to go, Hill will likely receive his fourth consecutive start.

Hill told Eisen that he hasn’t had a conversation with Brees about if he’s ready to return from injury. Hill also said that he hasn’t been told if he’s starting against Philadelphia yet.

The game will broadcast on FOX.

Kyle Ireland is a Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Twitter (@kyleireland) and Instagram (@kyleirelandksl).

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