SALT LAKE CITY — The NFL season hasn’t officially kicked off yet, but Taysomania is back in full force.
Former BYU star quarterback Taysom Hill made a splash in the pros last year as a multi-purpose threat with the New Orleans Saints, making an impact all over the field while lining up in seven-plus different positions. Saints Wire noted that Hill played quarterback (64 snaps), tight end (62), wide receiver (43), slot receiver (28), halfback/fullback (13), kickoff coverage/return (199), punt coverage/return (119), field goal block (69) and miscellaneous (64) in his second NFL season.
On Sunday, he reminded everybody that he’s pretty dang good simply as a QB, too. His stellar play helped the Saints rally out of a two-touchdown deficit to edge the Los Angeles Chargers 19-17 in preseason play.
Hill, the Saints’ third-string QB, connected on 11 of 15 passes for two TDs and was accountable for 189 total yards in sparking the comeback.
Watch Taysom Hill’s highlights
Hill told reporters that he felt the pressure to make things happen with the Saints trailing 17-3 and starter Drew Brees sitting this one out.
”I felt like we needed some energy. And the thing I reiterated in the huddle was we’re going to have a chance to win this football game,” Hill said, as quoted by ESPN. “I know it’s a preseason game, but this is what it’s all about, and if we came here to not win then we’re wrong. So that was the objective.”
Hill led the Saints down the field for three scoring drives in the second half. The first resulted in a 27-yard TD toss to Austin Carr, the second was capped by a 1-yard scoring strike to Devine Ozigbo (Hill was sacked on the two-point attempt). And the go-ahead drive culminated in a 28-yard game-winning field goal.
”For three quarters I thought it was pretty complementary football,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “Then Taysom Hill took it over and they completely outplayed us.”
Predictably, people went wild over it on the internet.
One of ESPN’s Sunday NFL pieces included this question in its headline: Is Taysom Hill becoming Drew Brees’ heir apparent?
Even the Los Angeles Times threw some love in Hill’s direction, as sports writer Sam Farmer devoted an entire column to the backup QB.
“He’s listed as the third-string quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, but no simple label defines the do-it-all Taysom Hill.
“If he were a truck — and the third-year Hill looks like one at 6 feet 2, 225 pounds — he’d be a Mack of all trades.
“‘Taysom is a quarterback who happens to be an incredible athlete, and therefore his strength and his skill set and his smarts and his toughness can be used in other areas as well,’” Saints quarterback Drew Brees said last week after a joint practice with the Chargers. “‘But I don’t think there are a lot of Taysom Hills out there.’”
The Times feature included some fun quotes from a guy who knows a little something about being a versatile quarterback at BYU and in the NFL: Steve Young.
“‘He’s relentless like few are,’” said Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, a former BYU star. “‘In college, he got hurt trying to do something that was just amazing. It’s really hard to tell somebody who’s an amazing athlete not to do something amazing. It’s super difficult.’”
Young said he likes Hill being compared to him.
“I’ll own that comparison, I’ll own it 100%,” Young told the Times. “I hope to be like Taysom Hill someday.”
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