Sean Payton wanted Tebow with the Saints, before Hill

Saints head coach Sean Payton envisioned Tim Tebow as the 'Hybrid/Joker' player before Taysom Hill popularized it in New Orleans.
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The Who Dat Nation and NFL fans have witnessed and grown fond of the 'Taysom Hill Experience' over the past four seasons. Sean Payton's off-schedule play calls and unique usage of Taysom Hill are well-known in the football world. 

Tebow before Taysom

THE EVOLUTION OF AN IDEA

But Hill wasn't Payton's first choice.  He flirted with the idea of a Tim Tebow being his all-purpose player in a Saints uniform.

Tebow spurned Payton's advances.  

Mike Westhoff, the former Jet's and Saints special teams coach, was the assistant coach to take Payton's vision and make it a reality with Taysom Hill.  Why?  Because he also saw the potential in Tim Tebow in his only season with the New York Jets.  And, he noticed similar qualities in Taysom Hill.

THE GAMEPLAN

Payton transformed Hill's career as a quarterback into the Saints' 'swiss-army knife' on offense and special teams.

Hill was sent into games to block punts, ran back kick-offs, tackled defense, blocked, played tight end, and ran back. He played all of these positions before his first NFL pass in 2018.

Hill's humble reception of being inserted into New Orleans' quarterback rotation with Brees and Bridgewater was greatly admired.  Payton will allow him to earn the starting quarterback position since Brees' retirement.    

Because of his explosiveness and ability to be an offensive catalyst for New Orleans, you must believe Coach Payton will find a way to put Hill on the field should Winston win the quarterback battle.

Hill is not the first quarterback to be classified as a running quarterback.  Taysom is athletic like Jim Thorpe - well rounded enough to as multiple positions, and crafty enough to play them at a high level.

COPYCAT LEAGUE

Still, we know the NFL is a copy-cat league. Other NFL coaches and execs admired Hill's success as well.   

Jacksonville is primed to duplicate Sean Payton's innovative approach with Hill by using his former Heisman Trophy winner at Florida, Tim Tebow.  

But this wasn't Tebow's first opportunity to become the hybrid/joker quarterback in the NFL. Sean Payton approached him years ago with his vision for Tebow.

Mike Detillier shared with me Sean Payton's plan on the Bayou Blitz. Detillier said, "Tim could not get into the detail of exactly when he had the conversation, but he said it was after he was released by the Jets and got approached by Sean Payton. And Sean's vision was, "we'd like to bring you in as a hybrid option quarterback...to run some short-yardage plays for us, maybe use you as an H back. Sort of hybrid idea in short-yardage running situations."  

Tim Tebow rejected the proposal.

THE REVIVAL

Tebow has a chance to revive his NFL career, not as a quarterback, but as a tight end with the Jaguars.  

Sean Payton and Taysom Hill may have popularized the hybrid role, but it was Payton's vision and forward-thinking approach to the game that made it happened, as he would have done with Tebow.

All of the credit goes to Sean Payton, the visionary and innovator. But will the Tim Tebow Experience match the Taysom Hill Experience? I doubt it. 

But, we shall see.


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