The Saints are turning to Taysom Hill at quarterback, not Jameis Winston, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Saints’ QB Taysom Hill will start Sunday vs. the Falcons, per source. Hill took all the starter reps at practice this week. Jameis Winston will be the backup.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 20, 2020
Schefter added that Winston “will not be part of any offensive packages” for the Saints, meaning New Orleans is fully ready to see what it has in Hill. Even though Hill is making $16 million compared with Winston’s $1 million, the move is still pretty surprising to see.
For starters, the Saints have kept Winston active in every game this season. He even filled in for Drew Brees in Week 10 after he got hurt and was the team’s primary passer, with Hill sprinkled in for a few plays here and there. Many assumed the Saints would do what they did in 2019 when Brees got hurt, when they turned to Teddy Bridgewater.
A bigger reason is that Hill is extremely limited as a passer. He has just 18 pass attempts in his career, and has spent so little time at quarterback that some fantasy football sites have him listed as a tight end. But coach Sean Payton is extremely high on Hill, comparing him to Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young on multiple occasions.
For those reasons, and a few more, NFL Twitter was fairly surprised Friday morning when the news was reported.
Here are some of the reactions from fans, analysts and more.
Taysom Hill may be older than Brock Osweiler, who just retired after an 8-year NFL career, but he also has 55 fewer career passing attempts than Jake Luton, who played in his first NFL game two weeks ago
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) November 20, 2020
Taysom Hill qualifies at TE this week in @ESPNFantasy and would be the #1 TE this week if he starts at QB for New Orleans which seems like a very real possibility. 73% available in ESPN leagues. Must add.
— Matthew Berry (@MatthewBerryTMR) November 20, 2020
Just imagining a entire game were Taysom Hill runs that sweep play and sprints into a linebackers face at 100 mph for 4 more yards then he should get and he does it 40 times and everyones bleeding and im talking myself into it. Will be a great game to watch with ur dads
— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) November 20, 2020
Taysom Hill has four more pass attempts in his career than he has tackles.
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) November 20, 2020
Taysom Hill starting for the Saints over Jameis Winston this weekend speaks to my (unsubstantiated) theory that Sean Payton is bored with the traditional Drew Brees offense and just wants to coach one with a running quarterback like all the other cool teams.
— Dan Wetzel (@DanWetzel) November 20, 2020
Sean Payton is good with offense and stuff. Reportedly better than people on twitter. I trust his call. #taysomhill
— Colin Cowherd (@ColinCowherd) November 20, 2020
I’m here for it. Triple option all day
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) November 20, 2020
Taysom Hill’s first start is football twitter’s Super Bowl. We deserve this.
— Mina Kimes (@minakimes) November 20, 2020