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Did Texans QB Jeff Driskel Prove Hybrid Role Still In Play vs Saints?

Despite his struggles, quarterback Jeff Driskel led the Houston Texans to a preseason victory against the Saints. Did his performance prove that the Texans should re-consider a hybrid role in 2022?

HOUSTON — Quarterback Jeff Driskel took to the field with 1:55 left in the fourth quarter while the Houston Texans trailed the New Orleans Saints 13-10.  

During the Texans' final drive of the game, Driskel had one of his most impressive plays. He threw a 49-yard deep pass to wide receiver Jalen Camp to bring Houston within New Orleans' 30. He later connected with wideout Johnny Johnson III for 19 yards to bring the Texans to 1st-and-goal. 

Three plays later, Driskel passed a game-winning six-yard touchdown to Johnson as the Texans took a 17-13 preseason victory over the Saints. Driskel's late-game heroics led the Texans on a 90-yard seven-play scoring drive that took 1:50. 

"Coach [Lovie] Smith said before the game they're keeping score — we want to go out and win," Driskel said. "Our intent all night was to go out and win the game. We did what we came to do. We won the game." 

Outside the rookie running back Dameon Pierce making his case for Week 1 starter, there isn't much that can be taken away from the Texans' preseason opener against the Saints Saturday night — especially at the quarterback position.

Davis Mills and Kyle Allen have secured their starting and backup quarterback jobs ahead of the 2022 campaign. But the Texans should re-consider utilizing Driskel as a hybrid quarterback.

The franchise experimented with the ideal last season. But Driskel's performance at NRG Stadium illustrated that he could be more successful with a versatile play-caller in Pep Hamilton as offensive coordinator.

"I'm a competitor — I want to figure out a way to get on the field and help the team win," he said. "Last year that way was playing special teams and tight end. It's playing quarterback. 

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"I want to figure out a way to help this team win and do what I'm asked to do. It's pretty cool to be able to have the skill set to be able to do multiple things."

Driskel's athleticism, stature and versatility align with the comparisons of another hybrid quarterback in Taysom Hill. 

Like Driskel, Hill proved that the Saints could not consistently depend on his arm to win games. But Hill's most significant on-field attributes were the athleticism and versatility he provided to New Orleans' offense to help give a substantial boost over the previous four years. 

Ironically against the Saints, Driskel gave his rendition of Hill. He threw for 165 yards while going 16-for-26 from the field with two touchdowns. He gave the Texans a minor boost in the run game, averaging 5.7 yards on three attempts.

Driskel used his legs to keep the drive alive for the Texans on several occasions when the pocket began to collapse. 

He threw three interceptions in the win but acknowledged that his performance could have been cleaner.

Driskel said during his post-game press conference that he is open to figuring out different ways to get on the field to help the Texans win more games in 2022.

"Everybody in our building is here to help the Houston Texans win games — no matter how that is," he said. "It doesn't matter. Go out and do what you're asked to do and do it at a high level. I'm going to keep doing what I'm asked to do and, you know, keep competing and try to win games."