Being in a competition for the New Orleans Saints’ starting quarterback job for the first time in his NFL career has Taysom Hill changing up his offseason workout routine.
That became possible after longtime Saints starter and surefire Hall of Famer Drew Brees retired last month after 20 NFL seasons.
“For the last four years, my workout routine has been different,” Hill told media members at a golf event Tuesday, per ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “It’s been structured to be the Swiss Army knife and do all these other things I was going to be called upon (to do), where now my emphasis, my focus is just being a full-time quarterback.”
While Hill, the former BYU quarterback, had the chance to start four games last year when Brees was injured, he’s mostly been a utility player for New Orleans in his first four NFL seasons. Hill went 3-1 during his brief relief starting stint in 2020 and finished the year with 928 passing yards and four passing touchdowns with two interceptions, while also rushing for 457 yards and eight touchdowns. He also lost five fumbles.
“I would also say I think the mindset is different: Hey, Drew went down, you’re called on to step in and do everything you can to not mess it up as a backup,” Hill said, per NOLA.com’s Luke Johnson. “That was my mindset. I think the mindset shifts when you become the guy.
“... Last year, it was always a means to an end. Hey, when is Drew going to be healthy and when is he going to be ready, because your time is then over. So I think it’s a different mindset and something I’m looking forward to.”
Hill is in competition for the starting job with veteran Jameis Winston, the No. 1 pick in the 2015 NFL draft who signed a one-year deal this offseason to stay in New Orleans. Winston originally joined the team prior to last year, and he completed 7 of 11 passes for 75 yards in relief.
Winston, who was Tampa Bay’s starter for five seasons and threw for more than 19,700 yards and 121 touchdowns with the Buccaneers, recently said he’s “outworking everybody at my position,” per NOLA.com’s Jeff Nowak.
“I went from being the No. 1 draft pick to being — everybody laugh at me. But guess what? I’m about that business. I’m outworking everybody at my position,” Winston told Nowak. “I’m doing things every single day. Commit to the dream. Because that’s the thing, we have to go back to being little kids about this football game. Because this is a kid’s game that men play.”
Could the Saints, who hold the No. 28 pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL draft, which runs April 29-May 1, also be in the market for a young quarterback?
“I don’t think it’s a ‘must’ position,” Saints coach Sean Payton said Tuesday of the team’s approach on drafting a quarterback, per WWL-TV’s Doug Mouton. “We feel like we’ve got real good players in the building.”