Report: Jameis Winston Supported by Saints Teammates in QB Battle with Taysom Hill

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 27, 2021

BALTIMORE, MD - AUGUST 14: Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints warms up before a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Jameis Winston has reportedly received "significant" support within the New Orleans Saints' locker room as he attempts to win the team's starting quarterback job over Taysom Hill.

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported the update Thursday night: 

Jeremy Fowler @JFowlerESPN

Jameis Winston is receiving significant locker-room support this week for the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saints?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Saints</a> starting QB job, with many teammates treating him as if he is the starter or giving indications he will get the job, per sources.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saints?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Saints</a> have not yet made an official announcement, but all signs point to QB Jameis Winston being their starter, sources say. Given the way he played last week, this is not a surprise. It will also allow Taysom Hill to fill his valuable gadget/do-everything role.

Winston was terrific in the Saints' second preseason game, a 23-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday night. He completed nine of his 10 passes for 123 yards with two touchdowns—strikes of 43 and 29 yards to Marquez Callaway—and no interceptions.

It was an important performance for the 27-year-old former Tampa Bay Buccaneers starter after neither quarterback was overly impressive in the team's first exhibition contest, a 17-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

Hill didn't play poorly against the Jags, but his completion percentage hovered just above 50 (11 of 20) to go along with 138 yards and one score.

Saints head coach Sean Payton wasn't prepared to name a starter after Monday's game, though.

"It's important to see all of them," Payton told reporters. "I just finished telling [the players]: It's a team game, but we're always updating our resume. You're always trying to put your best foot forward and create that value for yourself."

New Orleans wraps up the preseason Saturday night when it hosts the Arizona Cardinals.

Winston has seemingly pulled ahead in the race with Hill, especially as he garners increased support within the locker room, and he'll bring a lot of upside to the offense if ultimately chosen.

The Florida State product has never lacked playmaking ability, tallying 131 total touchdowns (121 passing and 10 rushing) across 72 appearances with the Bucs, but he struggled to cut down on the mistakes. In 2019, he became the first quarterback in NFL history with 30 TDs and 30 interceptions in the same season.

If he can keep those game-changing errors in check, it could go a long way to making sure the Saints offense doesn't suffer a massive drop-off following the retirement of Drew Brees.

New Orleans kicks off the regular season Sept. 12 with a home game against the Green Bay Packers, and so far all signs point toward Winston leading the offense in that contest.