Saints’ HC Sean Payton Talks Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston Ahead of New Season

Published 04/05/2021, 3:22 PM EDT
Nov 1, 2020; Chicago, Illinois, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) rushes the ball against the Chicago Bears during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports


The starting quarterback role is up for grabs in New Orleans. After legendary Saints quarterback Drew Brees announced his retirement this season, the door is wide open. Currently, the Saints have two quarterbacks on their roster – Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill. But which quarterback will start? That remains to be seen. However, Sean Payton candidly discussed both players ahead of the new season.

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New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton spoke to Sports Illustrated recently. When talking about his quarterback dilemma, Payton kept things diplomatic. He noted that the quarterback position comes with its own set of challenges. And while both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill are talented, the onus is on the franchise to put them in the best positions to succeed.

Dec 25, 2020; New Orleans, Louisiana, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) and quarterback Taysom Hill (7) sit together on the bench in the second half against the Minnesota Vikings at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

“The most important thing is leading this team, leading the offense to scores—protecting the football and scoring. There are certain commandments that we think are real important.”

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“Both of them have shown great leadership skills. Both of them have been very unselfish. It’s been a really good room here for a while, even back when Teddy was in the room. The rest of it will take care of itself. Obviously, it’s on us to give these guys the best stuff that we feel like they can execute and allow them to play.”

Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston – Who is the next starting QB?

Payton added that of the two quarterbacks, they have seen Taysom Hill play and produce more. However, the franchise has gotten a good look at Jameis as well, as they’ve been exploring both options. Payton was full of praise for both players and noted how getting the opportunity to see them both in action was helpful. The two are now working hard to claim the starting QB spot.

“At the time (we signed Jameis), we’d gotten to see a lot more of Taysom, and we’ve seen him now in a starting role, at least for four games. And then we had that exposure to Jameis.”

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NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – NOVEMBER 15: Drew Brees #9 and Jameis Winston #2 of the New Orleans Saints look on from the sideline during their game against the San Francisco 49ers at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on November 15, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

“And I’ve said this, that was really good for us, and equally good for him to evaluate us, to evaluate our system, our culture, all those things. He had a handful of other opportunities both last year and this year, and now each side is trying to put their best foot forward.”

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Who will be the new Saints starting quarterback on gameweek one? Both players will be motivated to stake their claim to the position. But given how talented and competitive both Winston and Hill are, neither will have an easy path. Furthermore, the person that gets the nod on gameweek one will not be allowed to rest on their laurels, as the other will be gunning for their spot.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1054 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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