Saints expected to start Taysom Hill against Falcons

Stephen A. Smith Rips Saints For Starting Hill Over Jameis Winston

If Hill does start, it will be the first of his career.

The decision comes as a bit of a surprise as the Saints rolled with Winston in relief of Drew Brees in each of their last two contests.

New Orleans head coach Sean Payton has not made an official announcement that Hill will start over Winston, but he is expected to talk after Friday's practice.

Hill has been with New Orleans since his rookie season in 2017 and this offseason signed a two-year extension worth about $21 million, a signal that the Saints considered him a legitimate candidate to step in when Brees retires.

Hill starred with the Cougars while playing multiple positions from 2012 to 2016. He has thrown only 18 regular-season passes in his National Football League career, completing 10 for 205 yards with one interception. Hill passed for almost 7,000 yards and 43 touchdowns on 6.6 yards/attempt in 37 games for BYU.

However, the fast and physical 6-foot-2, 221-pounder has run the ball 105 times for 596 yards (5.7 yards per carry) with four touchdowns. He lost a fumble on his final carry and was sacked once.

Payton declined to announce the Saints' starting quarterback after Friday's practice, despite being asked about the Hill reports. "Is that all right?"

The Saints did not make either quarterback available for media interviews this week.

The Saints appear to be evaluating both quarterbacks to see if one of these players can be the future of the team. Payton and teammates have credited Winston for his attitude, leadership and development throughout the season.

"He's 30 and I don't know if he's thrown 100 passes, I don't know if he's thrown 50 passes in his career", Smith said.

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