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whodatworm23

What a Taysom Hill lead offense might look like:

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With Drew Brees reportedly seriously considering retirement this offseason and Sean Payton giving his endorsement for a future Saints offense lead by Taysom Hill, I thought we’d dabble in and take a look at what a Taysom Hill lead offense might look like in the Big Easy…


Make no mistake about it, this would be a major gamble on Payton’s part and in essence would be Payton putting his reputation as an offensive genius on the line. This Saints offense would morph overnight from one of the best passing attacks in NFL history to a run centric offense moving forward, all be it a very intriguing one.

As far as personnel the Saints are pretty well prepared for this transition, almost as if they’ve been planning for it for a few years. The offensive line is in great shape moving forward and according to their PFF grades would actually benefit from more of a run first concept. A decision will need to be made at the left guard spot but outside of that the Saints boast on of the better young offensive lines in the entire NFL.

Moving out of the trenches, let’s turn to the skill positions. At receiver Michael Thomas is the best player at his position in the NFL and has already been handsomely rewarded for his efforts. Looking ahead, he’s also the ideal #1 receiving option for this Taysom Hill offense as Thomas has the ability to come down with contested catches and his catch radius is ridiculous. Thomas also has experience playing in an offense at Ohio State where often times he has to break off his route as the quarterback improvised which is what he’ll have to do moving forward. Yes, Thomas’s numbers will suffer in theory but his targets will remain the same in my opinion. The issue for the Saints come outside of Thomas. For this offense to truly work they will need a dynamic vertical threat with deep speed to pair with Thomas in order to keep defenses honest  and make them respect the 9 route. Deonte Harris has shown flashes of that as a rookie and Sean Payton is high on him but I view him more as a player who will see his role in this offense increase in a specialty role as a guy who can come in and run the sweep option and occasionally run some 9 routes, maybe bring him out the backfield in motion and get the ball to him in space. More or less, Harris will provide another weapon for defenses to concern themselves with but his true impact will continue to be giving this offense great field position as one of the best kick returners in the NFL. This offense will NEED to add that dynamic vertical threat who also possesses a full route tree to pair with Thomas to fully open up this offense.

In the backfield, I actually feel the Saints are in a great position. Obviously this unique rushing attack will be lead by Taysom Hill’s ability to run the ball from the quarterback position but 4th year back Alvin Kamara who will likely be playing on a brand new lucrative deal by that point would be a deadly weapon with Hill in the RPO game. Kamara also gives this offense a unique ability to flex out as a receiver and work underneath routes while Latavius Murray can offer the inside power game necessary to keep defenses guessing. 

Overall with Hill’s ability to threaten the edges and make defenses pay when the play breaks down, Kamara in both the RPO game and passing attack, Harris on jet sweeps, Murray’s downhill power game, a top young offensive line, the best procession receiver the NFL has seen… if the Saints add a serious vertical threat, this offense could become extremely complex for defenses to stop. 

Now we get to the forgotten position but one I feel the Saints will have to invest heavily into just like the Ravens have. The tight end position will become a major player in this offense under Hill. Due to Hill’s threat to get the edge on either designed run plays or improvised plays, having reliable quick outlets of tight ends that can block will be invaluable moving forward. It’s not a position that needs superstars, but a group of versatile players with particular skill sets that allow the offense to play to Hill’s strength. Jared Cook gives the offense a receiving threat and Josh Hill is a valuable versatile player as his blocking ability becomes much more valuable in this new offense but more will be needed.

Finally… there will be a need at the quarterback position. With Hill as your starter and the offense built around his skill set, like Baltimore with RG3 you have to insure that you protect yourself with a prospect similar to that of what your starters skill set is. That could come via a veteran free agent or even a mid-round draft pick but it does change the way you will think about the position as an organization and how you will evaluate it. 

Moving on from Brees and Bridgewater also has a financial benefit as well… if the Saints were to commit to Hill as their starter starting in the 2020 season, they can likely sign him to a 4 year deal in the 35-45 million range. This would allow the Saints the ability to not only extend all of their core young players but in 2021 when Brees’s dead cap money comes off the books, the Saints would have in excess of 60-70 million in cap space to build this roster for a serious run at a championship. Even if the Saints opt to have Hill play under a tendered deal in 2020 it would still set up the franchise with upwards of 90 million in cap space in 2021 and if Hill proves not to be the guy, the Saints are in a great position to get aggressive in the NFL draft and go get a young rookie quarterback on a 5 year rookie deal.

Either way… it sets up a bright future for the Saints.   


What are your thoughts on a possible Taysom Hill lead offense?

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I'll keep beating my dead horse.

I want the Saints to keep using Hill exactly how they are now. If they can fool someone into a high 2nd (top 40 pick) I'd be OK trading him, but I don't see that happening.

He's going to be 30 years old before the season starts, and he has played exactly zero full seasons as a starter, 5 of his 8 of his college/pro seasons ended in injury. The only three that didn't end in injury were the three years as a pro where he played in limited action (.01%, 17% and 23% of the offensive snaps).

You cannot build your offense around that kind of player. He's breaks himself when he's asked to carry a team for a season, he's batting 1.000 in proving that true. I know he's been healthy for 3 years in the NFL, but what we're talking about is a totally different animal if he's the starter.

We're talking about him carrying the ball 15-20 times a game if he's our full time starter. He had 27 carries ALL YEAR last year. That's like half a seasons worth of carries each game. We can't just chalk up the last two years of good health as a sign he's over his injury issues and then ask him to increase his workload 7-10 times over and assume we'll get more of the same. That can't be extrapolated accurately, not when you have 5 years of starting making some strong evidence pointing at the opposite conclusion.

Get me a QB by committee if we're headed there anyways, but don't put it all on Taysom and expect him to carry us 19 games when he couldn't finish any of his 5 college seasons. It WILL end in disaster.

Edited by Dome

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11 minutes ago, Dome said:

I'll keep beating my dead horse.

I want the Saints to keep using Hill exactly how they are now. If they can fool someone into a high 2nd (top 40 pick) I'd be OK trading him, but I don't see that happening.

He's going to be 30 years old before the season starts, and he has played exactly zero full seasons as a starter, 5 of his 8 of his college/pro seasons ended in injury. The only three that didn't end in injury were the three years as a pro where he played in limited action (.01%, 17% and 23% of the offensive snaps).

You cannot build your offense around that kind of player. He's breaks himself when he's asked to carry a team for a season, he's batting 1.000 in proving that true. I know he's been healthy for 3 years in the NFL, but what we're talking about is a totally different animal if he's the starter.

We're talking about him carrying the ball 15-20 times a game if he's our full time starter. He had 27 carries ALL YEAR last year. That's like half a seasons worth of carries each game. We can't just chalk up the last two years of good health as a sign he's over his injury issues and then ask him to increase his workload 7-10 times over and assume we'll get more of the same. That can't be extrapolated accurately, not when you have 5 years of starting making some strong evidence pointing at the opposite conclusion.

Get me a QB by committee if we're headed there anyways, but don't put it all on Taysom and expect him to carry us 19 games when he couldn't finish any of his 5 college seasons. It WILL end in disaster.

I get where your coming from but the issue with that line of thinking is that he’s a restricted free agent. He will all but assuredly be tendered at least at the 2nd round level. He’s on record multiple times stating that he views himself as a quarterback and wants his shot. Keeping him in his current role basically ensures that he’ll play out this next year then walk for nothing. In that case trading him would be more valuable if your convinced he’s not the guy. If you feel he isn’t and say Brees retires, would you prefer a long term Bridgewater extension or see the team trade up and land a young rookie QB in the draft?  

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9 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

I get where your coming from but the issue with that line of thinking is that he’s a restricted free agent. He will all but assuredly be tendered at least at the 2nd round level. He’s on record multiple times stating that he views himself as a quarterback and wants his shot. Keeping him in his current role basically ensures that he’ll play out this next year then walk for nothing. In that case trading him would be more valuable if your convinced he’s not the guy. If you feel he isn’t and say Brees retires, would you prefer a long term Bridgewater extension or see the team trade up and land a young rookie QB in the draft?  

In a perfect world... Tender him this year (2nd round), officially label him a TE (he plays most snaps in the slot so Saints should win any arbitration) and franchise him next year when we free up some big money from Brees and a couple other (tag will be roughly $13-15m for a TE most likely due to Kittle's extension).

By the end of the franchise tag year he's 32, you can let him walk were he can easily sign one big deal if the market is there for him. If there's no market you resigned him to a middling TE deal and he sticks around.

 

If Brees is back, Taysom has the same role and you find a developmental QB.

If Teddy is back, Taysom has the same role and you find a developmental QB.

If neither Teddy or Brees are back (highly unlikely) you draft a QB high or find a veteran and keep Hill in the same role, and you find a developmental QB.

 

Taysom may see himself as a QB, but as long as the Saints control the rights to him they should play him where he's best fit. And that's not a guy we will rely on to run our offense for 19 games.

Edited by Dome

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9 minutes ago, Dome said:

In a perfect world... Tender him this year (2nd round), officially label him a TE (he plays most snaps in the slot so Saints should win any arbitration) and franchise him next year when we free up some big money from Brees and a couple other (tag will be roughly $13-15m for a TE most likely due to Kittle's extension).

By the end of the franchise tag year he's 32, you can let him walk were he can easily sign one big deal if the market is there for him. If there's no market you resigned him to a middling TE deal and he sticks around.

 

If Brees is back, Taysom has the same role and you find a developmental QB.

If Teddy is back, Taysom has the same role and you find a developmental QB.

If neither Teddy or Brees are back (highly unlikely) you draft a QB high or find a veteran and keep Hill in the same role, and you find a developmental QB.

 

Taysom may see himself as a QB, but as long as the Saints control the rights to him they should play him where he's best fit. And that's not a guy we will rely on to run our offense for 19 games.

I’m with you up until the whole franchise thing as a TE... the Saints went through that whole mess with tagging a player at one position while the player viewed himself as something else. The player was ultimately traded but Payton took a major hit in the locker room over it. I’m willing to guarantee there zero chance they try that with Hill who will be even hated to prove in court which position he is. They would just trade him to a team willing to give him a shot at QB if that was the case. 

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6 minutes ago, whodatworm23 said:

I’m with you up until the whole franchise thing as a TE... the Saints went through that whole mess with tagging a player at one position while the player viewed himself as something else.

Jimmy Graham is and always was a TE. He called himself a TE on Twitter and had talked about/retweeted the TE records he holds. Both those things came up in arbitration. He didn't have any issues being a TE until he saw WRs made more on a franchise tag. That's why the Saints won that dispute.

 

If you start using players the way they demand to be used rather than the way they best fit the team, you deserve far worse than taking a locker room hit.

If Payton truly thinks Taysom is the future, that's one thing. But we're on a slippery slope calling him a QB based on how Taysom is truly used in our offense (and on special teams), which is a TE that sometimes runs the option.

Edited by Dome

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Nice 10 minute interview with Taysom.
 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 2/5/2020 at 3:02 PM, whodatworm23 said:

The question is how does Payton view him as a passer.

I view him as a run first QB with a good arm.

 

i don’t question he has the arm talent to make all the passes, I question his mentality.

 

he was obviously a run first passer coming out, but his third year in this system and he’s still a run first passer 

 

it’s why I think he’s better in part of a rotation, or leading a QB committee than being the starter 

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I'm just skeptical he can be trusted to run the offense by himself.  

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10 hours ago, Jlowe22 said:

I'm just skeptical he can be trusted to run the offense by himself.  

Same thing was said about Steve Young early on... considered a bust, just an athlete. Went to 49ers and Walsh who groomed him into a hall of fame player. Young didn’t become a starter for San Fran until 31 years old. Troy Aikman was once considered a run first quarterback with passing potential, he lacked development due to his being in UCLAs offensive scheme at the time. 

 

Not saying Taysom is these guys... but if Sean Payton has that much belief in Hill, I think he’ll get his chance to prove us all wrong. Sean was right about Tony Romo.

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Taysom is still really gun-shy in the pocket

 

8 years of reps at QB and his instincts are still run first.

3 years with Payton and SOMETIMES he still looks like a punter running a pass/run option on a 4th down fake.

I don’t know how much more coaching you can do to overwrite what a guy has been doing for 8 years. 

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2 hours ago, Dome said:

Taysom is still really gun-shy in the pocket

 

8 years of reps at QB and his instincts are still run first.

3 years with Payton and SOMETIMES he still looks like a punter running a pass/run option on a 4th down fake.

I don’t know how much more coaching you can do to overwrite what a guy has been doing for 8 years. 

I’m curious how you came to those assumptions... almost 90% of the plays he’s ran as a quarterback was a designed run at the time and the ones he did have an option to pass were designed for a specific target. I agree that he’s a major unknown as a quarterback but to judge his progression he’s made under this coaching staff is pretty much impossible at the moment. The fact is that none of us know what Hill truly is as a quarterback right now but what we do know is that he’s a playmaker and that’s what the NFL is going to at the position these days. Like Bucky Brooks says, the NFL used to look for shooters at quarterback... now they want scorers.

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1 minute ago, whodatworm23 said:

I’m curious how you came to those assumptions... almost 90% of the plays he’s ran as a quarterback was a designed run at the time and the ones he did have an option to pass were designed for a specific target. I agree that he’s a major unknown as a quarterback but to judge his progression he’s made under this coaching staff is pretty much impossible at the moment. The fact is that none of us know what Hill truly is as a quarterback right now but what we do know is that he’s a playmaker and that’s what the NFL is going to at the position these days. Like Bucky Brooks says, the NFL used to look for shooters at quarterback... now they want scorers.

preseason when he was asked to lead the offense. he was cagey as hell even if his stats looked good.

i said at the time he can move the chains, but i don't think he has what he takes to lead an offense. not much has changed for me.

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17 minutes ago, Dome said:

preseason when he was asked to lead the offense. he was cagey as hell even if his stats looked good.

i said at the time he can move the chains, but i don't think he has what he takes to lead an offense. not much has changed for me.

I’ve watched every snap of Hill in all preseason games... agreed his initial instinct is to run early on but much of that is playing with non NFL players for much of the time. His ability and willingness to read in the pocket has gotten considerably better over the last 3 year. Case in point the 30 yard out route he hit Austin Carr for a TD against the Chargers, latter by both Payton and Carr in interviews was said to be that Carr was Hills final read in the progression on that play which was originally designed to go to the tight end. Does Hill scramble and run, he’s but it’s what makes him special and unless it’s a designed run he typically only runs once the rush breaks the pocket but his eyes are always downfield in my assessment. How he’s actually progressing reading defenses only Payton knows but the Carr play shows he’s processing information out there not just being a gimmick. I can clearly see the comparison to Steve Young with Hill because he is a rare athlete but studying his arm when he does throw it’s clear he possesses arm talent. For the passes I’ve been able to see he’s been fairly accurate, is he Drew Brees accurate? No but I believe Saints fans are spoiled when it comes to that... Brees is the most accurate QB of all time. However Hill is better than average in the accuracy dept and his athleticism will naturally cause defenses to give him wider areas to throw the ball into because they have to respect his running ability much like Lamar Jackson. I do believe that Hill can be every bit the passer that many of the mid-tier starting QBs are but when you add his running ability to the equation it makes him that much more of a problem to deal with. 

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