Taysom Hill excited for Drew Brees to come back, in no hurry to leave New Orleans
Maybe it was planned, but then again maybe it wasn't. On Tuesday, Taysom Hill spoke with ESPN's Adam Schefter on The Adam Schefter Podcast to discuss the return of Drew Brees and talk about his future as a restricted free agent. You can listen to the full show here. Hill opened by saying that he saw the Drew Brees news right before he called into the show, but had conversations in the past with him that gave him a pretty good inkling that he'd be back. Hill added that he just didn't know when everyone else would find out that Brees would be back.
"I'm so excited for Drew to come back," Hill said.
"He's become such a good friend, such a great mentor to me. When we had conversations, I told him, man, I sure hoped he came back and played. I felt like it was better for the NFL for him to be playing. It's certainly a great thing for the Saints and for all of us to continue to watch him play."
Regarding his football future, Hill was asked about being okay with not being the starting quarterback for the Saints in 2020.
"Yeah. Look, I have so much for respect and admiration for Drew. I will support him for as long as I can. I hope that he continues to play, and obviously there's a process going to restricted free agency, and we'll go through that process and see what happens. but man, I would love to play with Drew again. And I think having had three years behind him, it really has been the best thing for my career and if it turns out to have another year to learn from him, it's only going to make me that much better."
Hill said he's learned that he didn't realize what he didn't know until he got into the NFL and started to work with Brees. Hill admitted that he was naive, and didn't realize the amount of time and effort that Brees puts into every single game to make sure that he leaves no stone unturned.
"I felt like he prepared the same way every week, and it was as if it was the first time that he's seen this defense or this team. Just seeing the way he prepares was eye-opening to me, and I'd say that that was the biggest thing I've taken away."
Hill talked about the nature of his relationship with Brees, and how they're able to get along so well. Hill said they had so many similarities and cited his time as a rookie, talking about how they hit it off initially when he got to New Orleans.
"I was obviously older for a rookie, and I remember there were things going on that I was being treated like a rookie. Man, Drew stuck up for me every time, to the point where like people just left me alone. And Drew every time was like, 'Man, leave him alone. He's 27 years old. He went and spent two years serving for this church.' I had so much respect for him, here's this Hall of Fame quarterback that didn't know me at all, and he was defending me, sticking up for me from the day I got there."
Hill said Brees took him under his wing, often looking at him as a big brother and a huge reason how their relationship evolved. Hill echoed his desire to play quarterback, but stated there's still going to be opportunities to make plays. Hill also said that he has a leg up over other backup quarterbacks, being in the huddle with Brees and seeing firsthand how he manages the huddle with leadership on game day.
The biggest question surrounds Hill's future as a restricted free agent, which is anyone's guess as to how it will play out. However, it sounds like Hill would like to stay with the Saints.
"I think there's a process of being a restricted free agent. My agent and I are going through that process, and we'll see what happens. But I'm in no hurry to leave New Orleans. As I look at my career, I have goals and I have a vision for myself as to what I can be in the NFL, and there has been nothing that has been said, or I've never been treated in any way that would lead me to believe that the vision I have for myself is not the same vision that coach Payton has for me, as well as the other guys on staff. So I'm in no hurry, but I also think that there's an important element of being a free agent; you finally have the opportunity to sit down and say, 'What are my goals? What are my visions for myself?' And then see who shares those same thoughts as you do."
Hill concluded that they'll go through the process and that it's super early. Hill was asked about what another team would be getting with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback, but said that he hadn't talked to him this offseason about where he's at and his thoughts.
"I have a lot of respect for Teddy. You know, it's not easy to come in and back up a guy like Drew. And then when a guy like Drew goes down, to step in and fulfill that role after Drew's been doing it for so long and been playing at such a high level. That is not an easy thing to do, and Teddy handled it like a champ. I think what teams get out of Teddy, I think he's a great leader, I think he's a great locker room guy, he gets along with everybody in the locker room, and he's a smart player. So, the thing that I really respect about Teddy is that he's not going to go in a football game and not be prepared, and he's not going to cost you football games. He's going to be prepared and he's going to create opportunities for teams to win football games and that he protects the football and that's what we got in those five games that he started and we won."
Free agency starts with the launch of the new league year on March 18, and we've already had one key piece come back to the Saints. Let's see if more keep happening as a result.