NEW ORLEANS (ABC4 Sports) – Former BYU quarterback Taysom Hill may be the most versatile, multi-talented player in the NFL.
Afterall, he played no less than seven different positions last year for the New Orleans Saints in their run to the NFC Championship Game.
Much of Hill’s toughness and determination comes from the fact that he overcame four season-ending injuries at BYU, and still made it to the NFL.
“I was an undrafted free agent that had a lot of injuries in college,” Hill said from Saints training camp. “So, as I entered the NFL, my mindset was to go take advantage of every opportunity, do my best to make a team and help a team win.”
Hill has been labeled as the Swiss Army Knife of the NFL. He caught a touchdown pass in the NFC title game against the Rams. He rushed for two more touchdowns last season, completed three passes for 64 yards, and has become a menace on special teams, even blocking a punt against Tampa Bay.
But his focus during training camp is earning the backup quarterback job behind Drew Brees.
“Right now, my emphasis is playing the quarterback position, and then doing all the special teams stuff,” Hill said. “I’m really heavily involved in special teams right now, but everything else, I’m playing quarterback. I think at some point, that will start to transition where I start to get other reps at different positions. It’s not an easy league to make it in. If you can create other opportunities for guys that can do different things, that’s been a really cool thing. I know I’ve had a lot of fun with it.”
Now, other teams around the NFL are trying to emulate the way the Saints use Hill usage by using their own players who can play multiple positions.
As for his chances to beat out Teddy Bridgewater for the backup job, Saints head coach Sean Payton has been impressed on how quickly Hill is picking up the offensive scheme.
“Well, his grasp of the offense, his ability to take the play into the huddle out to the line of scrimmage, get us in the right play,” Payton said. “I thought he threw the ball pretty well the last couple of days. And then the things that are harder to see or the things that can happen in a game when a play breaks down and he can advance it. He’s doing well.”
But just because he had success as a jack of all trades last year, doesn’t mean anything is guaranteed this year.
“I think the one thing I realized in the NFL is that you have to prove yourself every year, you have to prove yourself every week because it’s a really competitive league,” Hill said. “My mindset going into this season is just take advantage of every opportunity.”