The New Orleans Saints quarterback competition between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill will be intense at Saints Training Camp.
Coach Sean Payton told longtime New Orleans Saints reporter John DeShazier at the Zurich Classic Celebrity Shootout, "there's an excitement level every time you turn the page and start a new season." In 2021, not only will Payton and his team turn the page, they will be writing a new chapter in the franchise's history. Only this time, the latest volume of work will not include his dependable and legendary quarterback Drew Brees.
The quarterback drama is building. Fans are nervous and oddsmakers are setting bets. The upcoming battle at Saints headquarters will be intense, hot, and humid as a New Orleans summer day. All signs point to a scorching contest between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill at Saints Training Camp.
Winston and his camp have posted videos and photos of his workouts with second-years Saints players on Instagram and Twitter. Last week, Jameis had sessions in San Diego with tight end Adam Trautman and wide receiver Juwan Johnson. Photos courtesy of SuperNola, Winston played host to former Notre Dame running back Tony Jones, Jr. He is beginning to bond with the young athletes who will become important parts of Sean Payton's offense.
JAMEIS WINSTON vs. TAYSOM HILL QB STATS
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This week, Winston delivered a passionate speech to a group of youth camp participants. He told the kids, "I went from being the No. 1 draft pick, to everybody laughing at me. But guess what? I'm about that business. I'm out-working everybody at my position. I know Dak [Prescott was standing next to Jameis] right here."
His transparency with aspiring football players took courage and wisdom. It's also signals growth and maturation in Winston. Life coach Iyanla Vanzant once said, "when it comes to personal growth and healing, there is a distinction between being finished and being complete." The old Jameis Winston is done, but the new Jameis Winston is ready is far from being written.
Saints beat writer Nick Underhill tweeted, "Taysom Hill has changed up his approach to training this offseason. He previously did some work to prepare for playing multiple positions. He is strictly training as a QB this offseason."
John Deshazier reported Hill's remarks at the Zurich Classic:
"It's not between you and one other player. It's, man, you're trying to be as good as you possibly can that day and every day, be as consistent as you can. As an athlete and as someone who has been in a lot of competitions, the mind-set is always the same."
Hill's game plan to become a full-time NFL quarterback was set in stone when New Orleans re-signed him last free-agency period to a $21M contract in 2020. He then restructured that deal to give the Saints $7.4 million of salary-cap space.
Both players are dialed-in and want to become the heirs to Drew Brees' throne, where he sat for 15 seasons. Sean Payton has voiced his desire for Winston to assume the leadership role, but he allows Hill a chance to earn the job, to his credit. Still, there will only be one named as the starter.
Will Hill prove all critics wrong? Or, will Winston resurrect his career in New Orleans?
We shall see.