Report: Sean Payton Believes Taysom Hill Could Be 'Steve Young-Type' QB

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 4, 2020

FILE - In this Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, file photo, New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) fends off Minnesota Vikings free safety Harrison Smith (22) on a long carry in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in New Orleans. The Saints have announced that dynamic reserve QB and utility player Taysom Hill has a new two year contract. (AP Photo/Brett Duke, File)
Brett Duke/Associated Press

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill has only 13 pass attempts in his NFL career and is better known as a special teams contributor and even a receiver. But head coach Sean Payton apparently still thinks highly of his future under center.  

NBC Sports' Peter King revealed in his Football Morning in America column that Payton "believes Hill has a chance to be a Steve Young type in and out of the pocket."

The revelation came in a section discussing who will start at quarterback for New Orleans in 2021 should Drew Brees retire, and King suggested that "Payton will not stand for a quarterback who turns it over like [Jameis] Winston has."

King went as far as to say he thinks the 2021 starting quarterback job, should Brees retire or move on, is "Hill's to lose," in part because Winston may not have much chance to prove he can move past the turnovers that have been an issue throughout his career if Brees plays all year.

Winston threw a stunning 30 interceptions in 2019 alone and has never thrown fewer than 11 in any of his five seasons since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected him with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2015 NFL draft.

Arm talent is not the question, though, as he also threw for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns in 2019. He underwent Lasik eye surgery this offseason, which could help him read defenses more efficiently in the future.

He won't be able to match Hill in the speed department. The BYU product has proved himself as a trick-play specialist who scored six touchdowns as a receiver and another as a rusher just last year. Part of what made Young so special as a quarterback was his ability to improvise when the pocket broke down and make plays as a runner, and that is something Hill has done for the Saints.

Winston is also under contract for just the 2020 campaign after signing a one-year deal with the Saints, while Hill is signed through 2021 following this offseason's extension.

Comparing Hill to Young, who is a Hall of Famer with three Super Bowl titles and two league MVPs on his resume, is high praise, especially for someone who hasn't shown anything as a consistent passer in the NFL, but it is clear Payton holds his backup quarterback in high regard.

That will make winning the starting job all the more difficult for Winston if he is still in New Orleans after Brees has left.