Is Taysom Hill The Long Term Solution for the Saints?
For YEARS now, I've been a huge advocate for the Saints moving on from Drew Brees. It's an unpopular opinion. When I wrote an article about it a year ago, my inbox became flooded with hate mail. And the fan reaction is totally understandable. Drew Brees is a first ballot Hall of Famer and one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. However, in recent years, he's struggled to get the ball down field and the Saints haven't accomplished a whole lot with an extremely talented roster.
However, with Brees suffering an injury that could keep him out the rest of the season (he potentially could return Week 15, but that is looking doubtful at the moment), Head Coach Sean Payton has re-drawn the offense and is going with Taysom Hill as his starting quarterback. And, despite skepticism from fans and experts alike, Hill turned in one hell of a game against the Atlanta Falcons. In his first career start at QB, Hill racked up 233 passing yards and recorded 108.9 passer rating and ran in two touchdowns. Not bad for a guy many consider just to be a gimmick player.
Conversely though, Hill has yet to record a passing touchdown in his career and had some not great moments against a lackluster Atlanta defense. In the game, he took 3 sacks despite good protection, coughed his fifth fumble of the season and made some dangerous throws that Atlanta's inept defense just couldn't capitalize on. So, the question now is can Taysom continue to develop and is he the future of the Saints?
The good news is that as Hill continues to develop and grow, he won't have to face many great defenses. The next 3 opponents for the Saints are the Broncos, the Falcons and the Eagles. So, that should give Hill time to get comfortable with his role against teams that are struggling to stop anybody. However, if Brees can't return in Week 15, he will then have to face a fierce and talented Kansas City team which will put his skills to the test.
Now, I'm not so bold as to doubt Taysom's ability to become the new face of the New Orleans Saints. The kid clearly has talent. Plus, he has the full support of head coach Sean Payton and will be given every opportunity to succeed. So, unlike some young quarterbacks, the pressure is low as he develops and grows into the role. And, on top of that, the Saints Defense is good enough to help bail Taysom out of any mistakes he makes.
However, with Brees' return up in the air, can Taysom find a way to find and perform on a full time basis against the best of the best? We may soon find out. But, no matter what happens next, Payton has completely reconfigured the Saints offense with Taysom at the controls and for the first time in a long time they look dangerous. Which could spell trouble for opponents over the next few years in the Big Easy.