Former Cougar Taysom Hill to make first career start for Saints

BYU alumnus Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints will be filling in for the injured Drew Brees as starting quarterback this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.

This marks the first career start at quarterback for Hill and the first NFL start for a former BYU quarterback since John Beck in 2011 for the Washington Football Team.

Jameis Winston, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, was initially presumed to be the backup for Brees after taking over following the starter’s injury in the last game. Saints coach Sean Payton has reportedly elected to have Hill start instead, with Winston as the backup.

Hill took all the starter reps during practices this week according to NFL insider Adam Schefter, who broke the news of Hill starting. ESPN’s Dianna Russini reported that Winston will not be part of any offensive packages for the Saints this week, and Hill is now the team’s quarterback.

Hill has thrown a total of just five passes this season and completed four of them for a total of 86 yards. He has rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown, however, and also caught a touchdown pass this season.

The former Cougar played at BYU from 2012-2016 and was known for his ability to make big plays both through the air and on the ground. His successful college career is often overshadowed by injuries that caused multiple shortened seasons.

Hill went undrafted in 2017, but was picked up as a free agent by the Green Bay Packers soon after. He only got a few preseason games with the team before being waived.

New Orleans wasted no time, however, picking up Hill the next day on Sept. 3, 2017. Since then, Hill has become a fan favorite with the organization, earning the nickname “The Human Swiss Army Knife” because of his ability to excel at a variety of positions.

Hill is officially listed as a backup quarterback but has proved that he has a much larger skillset thanks to his combined speed and strength. He has rushed, received, and played both the offensive and defensive sides of special teams.

The Saints-Falcons matchup can be viewed on FOX on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 11:00 a.m. MT.

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