What has it been like for Taysom Hill in transitioning over to tight end?
The former BYU quarterback said, “This isn’t necessarily what I want, it’s what’s best for the team and I’m good with that”
It’s been a different kind of training camp for Taysom Hill this season.
The former BYU quarterback is focusing more on playing tight end while also reprising his role as a utility player with the New Orleans Saints under first-year head coach Dennis Allen, and he’s embracing the challenge despite moving away from more quarterback responsibilities.
“Things aren’t up to me,” Hill told reporters after practice Tuesday, per team writer Michael Hull. “I’m willing to do what I need to do to help us win football games.
“… I love playing, and so it creates opportunities for me to add value and be on the field and compete. … That’s the nature of the NFL. This isn’t necessarily what I want, it’s what’s best for the team and I’m good with that.”
Last year, the dual-threat Hill found himself in a quarterback battle with Jameis Winston to replace the retired Drew Brees. Winston ultimately won out, though Hill started five games late in the year after Winston suffered a season-ending injury.
Hill won four of those starts.
Winston is the team’s starter again — he injured his foot earlier this week, though NOLA.com’s Jeff Duncan reported it isn’t serious and “he’s expected to miss a few days of practice” — and the Saints have taken a more traditional approach at quarterback, bringing in veteran Andy Dalton to back him up.
That leaves Hill again serving as a jack-of-all-trades, which he’s done throughout his NFL tenure — playing on special teams and a variety of offensive positions.
Allen said earlier in training camp the team will still find ways to get Hill involved in the passing game.
“We’ve got a structure of what we’ve been doing in the past,” Hill said. “I think we’ll just continue to build on that.
“I don’t think what I have been doing is going to change, it’s just expanding that role. … They’re trying to give me the best opportunity to be successful.”
Hill’s transition has been impacted by injuries. He suffered a Lisfranc injury in New Orleans’ season finale last season — an injury he said “is never really over,” per Hull — and then he missed time during training camp with a rib injury before returning to practice Monday.
For now, Hill is focused on learning his new position and making an impact at the tight end position — and part of that includes shifting his mindset.
”I think the element of my game of playing quarterback, there was a physical element to that, but it’s a completely different mindset playing tight end versus quarterback,” Hill said.
“There’s certainly a mental element to (tight end), but a far more physical element to play in that position than the quarterback position.”