When Dennis Allen took the reins of the New Orleans Saints this offseason, his plan for Taysom Hill seemed clear: develop Hill’s skills as a tight end and leave his quarterbacking days behind.
“If Jameis (Winston) is out there playing quarterback, I don’t like Taysom standing next to me on the sideline,” Allen said during the annual league meeting in March.
But in a press conference Tuesday, the Saints head coach sang a different tune. He said he wants to use Hill in a variety of roles this season to take advantage of his skill set.
“I think he’s going to provide multiple roles for us,” Allen said. He’ll be “working with the tight end grouping. But yet he’ll still take some snaps from the quarterback position.”
Hill, who played quarterback in college for BYU, became a unique weapon for the Saints under Allen’s predecessor, Sean Payton. He helped with fake punts and trick plays, and won seven of the nine games he started at quarterback.
But limitations in his throwing game, in particular, hampered Hill’s chances to win the full-time starting spot. In March, the Saints re-signed Winston and signaled that Hill needed to focus on other skills.
“I think Jameis gives us some stability at the position,” Allen said.
However, as the Saints start training camp, the new head coach made it clear that he does see value in having Hill be more than just a receiver.
“He’s a really good football player and we want to utilize his skill set,” Allen said. “He can help us win football games.”