Saints quotebook: QB Taysom Hill (August 10, 2018)

Taysom Hill talks about playing QB for the Saints for the first time in a game

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Taysom Hill

Friday, August 10, 2018

Grade your performance last night.

“Given first preseason game first time, playing quarterback in the offense certainly a few plays I’d like to have back but overall, I was happy with the (way we) we moved the ball up and down the field. I'm certainly happy with getting the ball in the end zone on the last drive. So, (there were) a lot of things that we could improve on myself included and (I am) excited for the challenge.”

So, it was unusual for you I guess for the prep time? You get to spend a whole season without getting in a game at quarterback and were not with the Saints last preseason, being with Green Bay. So, you waited a long time to be able to play in a game in this uniform?

“Yes, it was a long time coming. So, I was definitely excited. Pregame jitters. I had a lot of high hopes and expectations for myself going into the game and just felt good to be back on the field playing quarterback under center, doing all that and it was a ton of fun. Overall I’m happy with the way we played.”

Taking off running like that, obviously that's just part of your game. Do coaches talk to you at this level about doing that less or being more selective or do they say that's just part of your game. Go for it when you feel it?

“We have not had a lot of conversations about it. I think everyone is aware that that is a part of my game that makes me unique and creates difficulties for the defense. So, I think that there's this balance of hey we don't want to take away from you being you. But you know let's try to limit any shots, or be smart when you do, do it and you get down when we need to and make a play when you feel like you can. So, I feel like that balance is really good.”

We did see you go down one time to avoid the hit Is that something that has come naturally to you or is that something you had to work out over the years?

“I think this is a conversation that I've had ever since I was a freshman in college. I dealt with a lot of injuries in college and it was always hey how do we limit the shots that you’ve taken. How do we limit the contact that you're getting with the defense. I think at the end of the day depending on a situation or one on one situation I have expectation in my head that I can make a play, or I can make a move. So, it's trying to temper my expectation of what I think I can do and then being smart. I think if you have a one on one situation in the open field then why not try to make a man miss. If you have a bunch of guys converging on them that's certainly an to get down and that's what we saw last night again.”

Is that something you have to think about on special teams?

“No special teams is a whole different ballgame. I am kind of (a) creative mindset (on) special teams. It's you go down all out and you're trying to make plays and obviously there's a fair amount of structure to it but if you're not going all out then you're not going to be successful on special teams. So that was something that I had to get used to. Making that transition from playing quarterback to doing the special teams stuff (is an adjustment) but I feel more and more comfortable doing it.”

Aside from being a holder is that the first time you ever played special teams and quarterback in the same game?

“I never have. We were kind of laughing. We went down, had a punt return. We would try to block the punt and then the very next drive I started, so I'm running off the field trying to get my gloves off, throwing them to the sideline and then luckily, we just took a knee because I wouldn’t have touched or thrown a ball for quite a while before starting that drive. So, something that some of them that was the first time for me.”

I feel like we haven't seen you run as much in practice is that partly because you don’t have to avoid a sack and you want to practice going through your reads, and are you encouraged to do it more in live game situation?

“In practice if an O-Lineman gets beat or if there's a pressure or something happens that the D-line’s holding up. They’re not going to come. They’re going to let you go through your reads and progressions and so that is a big element to that. In my situation I think it is nice to work a scramble drill or getting out of pocket and trying to find receivers downfield getting out and making plays with your legs that is just playing football. But we want to rep going through reads and progressions against different coverages.”

So, what's the mindset in the game then, is it do what you would do if you were playing quarterback in week 1, or is it trying to go through reads that you maybe wouldn’t normally…?

“I mean I think every play is different. I think as a quarterback if I come out and I see two safeties high and its man that's a prime look for a guy like me to find a running lane and going to get 10 to 15 yards. So, I think every play is a little different. I would say my mindset is trying to find the open guy, getting the ball down the field through the air and then trying to make defenses pay when they forget about me. They might drop whatever it is and cover all the routes downfield but then they forget about me or leave a running lane and that's when we try to make them pay.”

It looked like you were running more designed runs not like giving up on the pass play is that right?

“Yeah, we had a couple in the game that we kind of made a few adjustments on the fly and where we had a few reads based on how the defense is playing. So, we had two designed QB runs essentially because I pulled it.”