- Taysom Hill is more than just Drew Brees' backup quarterback, the 28-year-old out of BYU is a do-it-all weapon who has been a source of motivation for the Saints this season.
Taysom Hill is technically Drew Brees' backup quarterback for the Saints, but the 28-year-old Pocatello, Ida., native plays a much larger role in New Orleans.
In only his second season in the NFL, Hill has made an appearance in all of the Saints' games this year. As Brees continues to lead New Orleans through the 2019 NFL playoffs, you'll also hear plenty about his backup.
Here are five facts you need to know about the versatile quarterback:
1. He's a do-it-all offensive player
Hill, who wears No. 7, appeared in all 16 regular season games and was also in for a number of plays against the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round of the playoffs–but not all as Drew Brees' backup. Hill has played as a receiver, running back, quarterback, returner and special teams tackler.
He ended the 2018 regular season with 64 yards on 3-of-7 passing, 196 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 37 attempts, four receiving yards on three receptions, one punt return, 348 yards on 14 kickoff returns, six total tackles, one blocked punt and two converted fake punts for first downs (1 rush, 1 pass).
As of Dec. 9, when Hill blocked a punt during the Saints' game against the Buccaneers, the backup-quarterback-turned-do-it-all addition had accomplished all of the above:
Taysom Hill blocked a punt for the Saints today. So this season he has...— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 9, 2018
- Completed passes
- Run for a TD
- Caught a pass
- Returned kicks
- Recorded tackles on special teams
- Blocked a punt
2. He plays a big role on special teams
Hill gained 348 yards on 14 kickoff returns this year and led the Saints with 343 special teams reps (80.1%). The New Orleans special teamer did not make the All-Pro team, but did make several tackles as a gunner, acted as the punt-protector, and converted several fakes in addition to his returns.
3. His nickname is the 'Mormon Missile'
New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara spoke to the media Thursday and said the Saints' offensive line gave Hill the nickname of “The Mormon Missile.”
Kamara said that center Max Unger initially came up with the nickname in a huddle. QB1 Drew Brees thought the name would stick, and it seems that it did.
With his athleticism, strength, versatility and attitude, Hill has been a talking point and source of motivation for the Saints during the season.
4. His All-Pro votes were accidentally given to Tyreek Hill
When the Associated Press released its 2018 NFL All-Pro teams on Jan. 4, many reviewing the results grew suspicious of the fact that Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill received six votes as the All-Pro special teamer, even though he rarely played on special teams this year.
The Associated Press confirmed to Pro Football Talk on Tuesday that the wide receiver was wrongly credited with votes originally given to Saints quarterback Taysom Hill, whose special teams play surfaced to the spotlight after he blocked a punt in the team's Week 14 comeback win over the Buccaneers. Taysom most recently converted a fake punt for a first down that helped the Saints defeat the Eagles in the NFC's divisional round.
5. He played for BYU in college
The 6'2", 221-pound signal caller spent his college career at BYU, starting his freshman campaign in 2012 as the No. 2 QB on the Cougars' depth chart. He was initially brought in during several short-yardage situations due to his athleticism, and finished his freshman season playing six games with two starts, both of which were wins, before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Utah State.
Hill became BYU's starter during his sophomore season in 2013 before fracturing his leg in 2014, cutting a second season short. Hill then suffered another fracture in 2015 during his season opener against Nebraska, a Lisfranc fracture in his foot. That injury cost him the season.
The senior was granted a medical redshirt for 2015 and returned to BYU in 2016 for his final season of eligibility. He once again earned the starting quarterback slot, but sustained a fourth and final season-ending injury late in the year when he hyperextended his elbow.
Hill finished his collegiate career with 6,929 yards and 43 touchdowns to 31 interceptions, avergaging 6.6 yards per attempt through five seasons.