After Monday night’s preseason win for the New Orleans Saints over the Jackson Jaguars, it appears the Saints have found their heir apparent for departed quarterback Drew Brees.
In the battle for the Saints’ starting role behind center, Winston had a signficantly stronger night than Taysom Hill, connecting on 9-of-10 passes for 123 yards and two touchdown passes for 157.5 QB rating.
For the record, that’s almost perfect. A perfect quarterback rating is 158.3.
Winston quarterbacked three series for the Saints, taking 16 offensive snaps that led to 14 points. He went 2-of-3 on third-down conversions and was not sacked.
Hill, meanwhile, went 11-of-20 passing for 138 yards with one touchdown pass and a 93.3 QB rating.
His six possessions (31 offensive snaps) led to nine points (New Orleans missed an extra point following his touchdown pass). But Hill was 0-of-3 on third-down conversions, and was sacked twice, both on third down.
That’s not a horrible performance by any means. In fact, it’s not even bad. But it wasn’t close to Winston’s showing, and I believe that’s a good thing for the Saints.
You see, I believe having “Taymeis,” Winston and Hill both out of the field, sometimes at the same time, provides the biggest winning opportunity for the Saints this season.
Hill is much more than a quarterback as a player who has also turned in time with New Orleans as a running back, H-Back, receiver, and special teams player extraordinaire, both on coverage and return teams.
New Orleans is already facing injuries at offensive skills positions with Michael Thomas out for the start of the season and with two of their three top tight ends banged up.
That’s in addition to receiver Deonte Harris expected to miss a game or two after an offseason DUI arrest.
Hill remains of much value to the Saints because of his “Swiss Army Knife” role and the fact that he can do so many things to help the team.
And it is a team game, and if Hill wants to do what’s best for the Saints as a whole it would be to return to the role this reason.
Don’t get me wrong, I want to see him take snaps behind center every game. Even 20 to 30% to keep opposing defenses off balance.
And I would leave Winston out on the field in the slot for some of those plays.
I have two touchdowns I want to see from the Saints’ dynamic quarterbacking duo this season.
The first would be a double pass with Hill hitting Winston in the flat and Winston then launching the ball back to Hill on a wheel route out of the end zone.
And I also want to see Winston do maybe the only thing Brees never did for the Saints — catch a touchdown from Hill.
I also want to see the Saints keep rookie Ian Book as the No. 3 quarterback. The player who I call “Baby Brees” has too much upside to let get away. He’s the same size as Brees, was a standout for Notre Dame and plays much like a more mobile Brees.
Media reports say that teams have reached out to the Saints about possibly trading for Book, but the Saints should keep the young QB who could become a worthy No. 2 and allow Hill to remain in his 1B role as quarterbacking “Swiss Army Knife” for the Who Dats.
That seems to be the best winning combination for all heading into the post-Brees era for the Saints.