For the first time in a long time, the New Orleans Saints enter a season with a ton of uncertainty. After the retirement of future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees, experts question if the Saints are capable of making the playoffs. By the same token, the prognosticators are all in on the Tampa Bay Buccaneer bandwagon. These being the same people who questioned Tom Brady and his arm strength just a few months ago.
Either way, the challenge the Saints face this year is new. The consistency of Drew Brees cannot be overstated enough. After all, he defined New Orleans football for over a decade. Of course, some have been ready to move on for a while from Brees. They even made cases that he waited too long to retire. Similarly, experts now seem to have written off Taysom Hill.
Has Everyone Written off Taysom Hill?
Taysom Hill Deserves an Opportunity
Regardless, like it or not, there will be new blood behind center in 2021. Rumors echoed before the NFL Draft that the black and gold we’re definitely going to draft a quarterback in the first or second round. Quarterback Mac Jones was mocked so many times to the Saints — many saw it as a done deal.
General Manager Mickey Loomis and Head Coach Sean Payton never follow the straight and narrow. And it’s hard to argue with the results since winning multiple conference titles and a Super Bowl. The success of the Saints raised expectations year after year. In addition, the success of the 2017 NFL Draft put even more belief that it’s a Super Bowl or bust.
The near-misses have been documented more than the liking of Who Dat Nation. No reason to rehash the gut-wrenching disappointments of the last four years. Add a worldwide pandemic to the list, and fans are hungry. The buildup to see how Payton will manage a Brees-less team is intriguing, to say the least.
The Blueprints are there for Hill to Start
Now, the decision looms large, as to who is the quarterback following the best to ever wear the black and gold. The overwhelming majority wants Jameis Winston. On paper, he is the easy pick. A former first overall pick versus an undrafted quarterback who has been utilized as a quarterback, slash wide receiver, slash everything. Taysom Hill has done more than carve out his own role with the team. He’s transformed the identity of what a quarterback can be used for.
Surely, the idea of Taysom Hill running down on special teams was a Sean Payton original. No other coach would even dare entertain the idea of putting a backup to try and block punts. But that’s exactly what he did.
As things stand, the competition is wide open. Supposedly. Or is it? It’s easy to write off players who were undrafted or drafted late like Tom Brady or even Kurt Warner. Even Russell Wilson (drafted third round) or Dak Prescott (drafted fourth round) were looked to be clipboard carriers at best.
Nothing is Certain after the G.O.A.T Retired
No one, absolutely no one in their right mind will put their name behind any of these quarterbacks before the star status became evident. On that same note, nobody is going to put Taysom Hill in front of Jameis Winston right now. But make no mistake, this so-called easy decision is not that easy.
The fact of the matter is, Sean Payton put Taysom Hill in for the extended period when Brees got hurt. And Hill has proven to be able to win when it matters in a regular-season game. Still, the decision seems obvious to watch the former first-round pick win this battle. Oh yeah, and there’s also a rookie from Notre Dame named Ian Book.
Winston is the likely starter. He’s saying and doing all the right things, but the only season that matters starts in September. Just keep an open mind and let the coach make the decision.