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Let's talk about Taysom Hill and gadget players

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The Saints offense this year has what I would consider the most unique and versatile gadget weapon in the NFL - Taysom Hill.

SBNation did a pretty good write-up on him this morning that outlines just how effective he's been for the Saints:

https://www.sbnation.com/2018/10/22/18007116/taysom-hill-new-orleans-saints-quarterback-running-back

Hill is listed as a QB, but he runs a 4.46, tackles, blocks and can pass. He plays as a QB, RB, TE, and WR on offense in his packages. He plays as the up-man in the punt formation (and is routinely used on fakes, to throw or pass), and also plays on the kickoff team.

Aside from me just wanting to praise the idea of how much a player like Hill can open up an offense, I want to generate some discussion about this topic as a whole:

1) What other teams are also currently using players like Hill as gadget players (aside from the Ravens with QB Lamar Jackson)? The Saints appear to be using Hill in the widest possible role I've seen, but other teams such as Chicago (Tarik Cohen) KC Chiefs (Tyreek Hill) and Dallas (Tavon Austin) have their own gadget players as well.

2) Will teams start using more gadget players moving forward, or did the Saints just stumble upon possibly a jack-of-all-trades gadget player that is the exception to the rule?

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Honestly, we should start Hill at CB.  Can't get any worse than blowing coverages every snap, and at least Hill can tackle.  He's the only QB in the league that can do everything except throw the ball.  And he runs like a Mack truck.  

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Mohamed Sanu is another guy I would throw into the discussion.  He's a physical runner that can convert short yard situations but also a fantastic passer for a WR/infrequent thrower of the football...

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Taysom Hill should be glad he went to the Saints instead of the Packers.  In Green Bay he would have had one jet sweep for 20 yards and then never get on the field for the rest of his career.

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In the case of Hill, I doubt it's sustainable.  Eventually I'd reckon teams will figure it out unless they start making him a legitimate threat to throw.  But he's talented.  Just not sure how long you can keep subbing him in at QB and expecting the same success.

Edited by iknowcool

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Joe Webb plays ST... He was Taysom Hill while Hill was at BYU.

I want to see him get some time at WR, but the WRs on the Texans is a team strength with Hopkins, Will Fuller and Keke Coutee. Coutee does all of the work on the jet sweeps and such, so there's that as well.

Texans playcalling is rather bland, too...

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1 minute ago, iknowcool said:

In the case of Hill, I doubt it's sustainable.  Eventually I'd reckon teams will figure it out unless they start making him a legitimate threat to throw.

The thing is, he's not at all easy to tackle, even when everyone knows he's running.

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5 minutes ago, iknowcool said:

In the case of Hill, I doubt it's sustainable.  Eventually I'd reckon teams will figure it out unless they start making him a legitimate threat to throw.  But he's talented.  Just not sure how long you can keep subbing him in at QB and expecting the same success.

Eventually, Payton will have to call pass plays for him to keep defenses honest.

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Just now, Jlowe22 said:

The thing is, he's not at all easy to tackle, even when everyone knows he's running.

I don't disagree; dude is talented.  But it's still ultimately the read-option with someone who has yet to provide much of a threat throwing the ball.  Cam Newton has an even better skill-set than Hill while actually throwing and doesn't average the 6.9 YPC Hill averages.  It's just something unique within the Saints scheme that teams are gonna have to figure out.  He could still have success doing it, just not to the extent or as consistently as he is now.

But I don't mean that to say he isn't a good player or anything.  Just that they will eventually need to find new ways to incorporate him into the offense, which I'm sure they will.  Payton is smart as heck.

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2 minutes ago, iknowcool said:

I don't disagree; dude is talented.  But it's still ultimately the read-option with someone who has yet to provide much of a threat throwing the ball.  Cam Newton has an even better skill-set than Hill while actually throwing and doesn't average the 6.9 YPC Hill averages.  It's just something unique within the Saints scheme that teams are gonna have to figure out.  He could still have success doing it, just not to the extent or as consistently as he is now.

But I don't mean that to say he isn't a good player or anything.  Just that they will eventually need to find new ways to incorporate him into the offense, which I'm sure they will.  Payton is smart as heck.

I agree. I said something similar in the Saints for 2-4 weeks back. I’m excited to see what other wrinkles Payton has for him because teams WILL adjust to the way we’ve used him so far. 

Its hard to say if Hill hasn’t thrown much or hasn’t had any passes thrown his way because that’s not something he’s good at and they don’t want to risk a huge negative play or because they haven’t needed that wrinkle yet and want to keep it in their back pocket for now.

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4 minutes ago, iknowcool said:

I don't disagree; dude is talented.  But it's still ultimately the read-option with someone who has yet to provide much of a threat throwing the ball.  Cam Newton has an even better skill-set than Hill while actually throwing and doesn't average the 6.9 YPC Hill averages.  It's just something unique within the Saints scheme that teams are gonna have to figure out.  He could still have success doing it, just not to the extent or as consistently as he is now.

But I don't mean that to say he isn't a good player or anything.  Just that they will eventually need to find new ways to incorporate him into the offense, which I'm sure they will.  Payton is smart as heck.

He's definitely not Cam Newton.  That I can remember, he's thrown one pass, and it should have been a TD but was dropped.

Im not sure how much I want him to pass though really.  If we're gonna throw picks, I'd rather Brees do it.  We'll look stupid with Taysom Hill out there throwing a bunch of picks when Brees is lined up out wide.

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I think Tim Tebow is a far better comparison than Cam Newton. He’s reminded me of Tebow since day 1.

Cam is a great athlete that decided to be a QB. Hill and Tebow are great athletes who know how to play QB... there is a subtle difference lol 

Edited by Dome

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15 minutes ago, iknowcool said:

In the case of Hill, I doubt it's sustainable.  Eventually I'd reckon teams will figure it out unless they start making him a legitimate threat to throw.  But he's talented.  Just not sure how long you can keep subbing him in at QB and expecting the same success.

It's week 7. The Saints just went up against the best defense in the NFL with Hill only doing running plays and still average 5.8 YPC with him (6 for 35), and had he not fumbled the pitch to Kamara on their first drive they would've been like 100% on 4th down conversions against us.

Sure, maybe it'll take a full season for teams to adjust, but the things NO is doing with Hill go way beyond just having him on the field and running. They put him on the field as the QB and run with him, they put him at WR and run jet sweeps and PA Jet Sweeps, they use him as an inline blocker, they use him as a RB and pitch the ball to him, etc. etc.

With the Ravens, any time Lamar Jackson comes onto the field he's used as a QB/RB and we run the ball. The Saints are so much more advanced than that, and that's why I think teams won't be able to just "figure out" Taysom Hill's packages, because ultimately the playbook expands when he's on the field, it doesn't shrink.

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Just now, Dome said:

I think Tim Tebow is a far better comparison than Cam Newton. He’s reminded me of Tebow since day 1

Tim Tebow if Tim Tebow could run a 4.46 and wasn't a complete tool who thought he was a QB when he wasn't.

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