According to Adam Schefter, the Saints were split internally on whether to start Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston at quarterback this week, with multiple players and people believing Winston should have gotten the start.
However, Saints HC Sean Payton elected to go with Hill because he “just wants to know” if he can be the team’s quarterback of the future, per Ian Rapoport.
Schefter says the thinking inside the building is this is a chance to evaluate Hill for the future with the sense internally that 2020 is QB Drew Brees‘ final season before retirement.
He adds the sense is Brees could be out four or five weeks while he recovers from rib fractures, and Hill might not necessarily be the starter for all those games. The coaching staff has been impressed with Winston and he remains a potential part of their long-term plans.
Schefter notes the decision was made early in the week because either Hill or Winston would need a specifically-tailored gameplan. Rapoport writes Hill took first and second-team reps this week to prepare and while he had nerves at the beginning, he settled in as the week went along.
Hill, 30, wound up signing on with the Packers as an undrafted free agent out of BYU back in 2017. He was waived and later claimed off of waivers by the Saints.
Hill has played out the final year of his rookie contract before receiving a restricted tender from the Saints this March. New Orleans later signed Hill to a two-year deal worth $21 million a month later.
In 2020, Hill has appeared in nine games for the Saints and completed 4 of 5 pass attempts for 86 yards. He has also rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown.