It would seem Taysom Hill is the next starting quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. This makes some fans VERY happy! However, a lot of the fan base is still #TeamTeddy. I get it. Teddy Bridgewater stepped in and did a fine job last season when Drew Brees got hurt.
Teddy Went 5-0!
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Teddy went 5-0. We all know. I’ve got one question for everyone, though. Do you remember those games? I remember visiting the Seahawks, who had the 6th worst passing defense, and struggling to move the ball. I remember the defense and special teams both coming up with touchdowns to carry the team.
What about the Dallas game? Oh, Dennis Allen and the defense only put up their best performance of the season! Teddy struggled to move the ball again. Oh yeah!!! Almost forgot about Teddy getting sacked out of field goal range with 1:45 remaining in a two-point game! In totality, he only played well in just two of the six games he played in place of Drew. And, one of those games was against the Bucs 3rd worst passing defense in the league.
Teddy is… fine. He’s a slightly above-average starting quarterback. Let’s extrapolate his stats out over a 16-game season:
352/520 3653YDS 24TD 5INT 7.1YPA 67% CMP%
Let’s look at some other quarterbacks from this year:
- QB A: 302/444 3603YDS 26TD 6INT 8.1YPA 69% CMP%
- QB B: 344/542 3722YDS 20TD 12INT 6.9YPA 64% CMP%
One of those quarterbacks is a rookie. The other is a seasoned vet on an expensive contract. What does this tell us? Teddy played somewhere between the level of a rookie Kyler Murray(QB B) and Kirk Cousins(QB A). And, if we are looking at QBR as a measuring stick, Teddy falls well below those guys. In terms of QBR, he places somewhere between Joe Flacco and Mitchell Trubisky. No thanks! Having a defense and special team unit who can come through in tough times is a great thing. However, you’d like to be able to lean on your quarterback as a catalyst for victory. Teddy has not looked like that guy at any point during his career.
Why Taysom Hill Over Teddy Bridgewater?
To date, there are a lot of unknowns about Taysom Hill as a quarterback. What we do know is that he is one of the top athletes on the field every time he laces up the cleats. We know you could argue that Taysom out-played Teddy in this past preseason…
- Teddy: 43/70 400YDS 2TD 1INT 5.7YPA 61% Comp%
- Taysom: 40/59 443YDS 3TD 1INT 7.5YPA 67% Comp%
We know Taysom has had some flashes as a passer. His back-shoulder throws are REALLY nice. Back-shoulder throws are one of the hardest passes to complete…
Does any of this prove that Taysom is better than Teddy? Nope. Does any of this guarantee him to be even an average quarterback at the NFL level? Not a chance. So why advocate for Taysom over Teddy?
Boom or Bust
Taysom Hill has massive potential in a Sean Payton offense. If Taysom can become even an average passer overall, then he would be one of the most dynamic weapons in the league. We already know he is a mobile threat. That is proven. The only real question is if he can execute the offense at a satisfactory level throwing the ball. Designed quarterback runs, read options, and legitimate run-pass options all become available to our mastermind head coach if Taysom succeeds. Sean Payton, with a capable passer who is also a mobile threat? Sign me up for that!
I’d be lying if I tried to tell you Taysom Hill was a sure thing at quarterback. As much of a chance that there is he succeeds, there is an equal chance he fails. I’m here to, emphatically, tell you that a failing Taysom Hill is better for the organization than an average Teddy Bridgewater. HOW!? Because it’s much easier to move on from him as your signal-caller if he stinks up the field. You can cut him or move him back to his utility role if it doesn’t work out. Why is that important?
Teddy is a slightly above-average quarterback. We’ve established that. Where does slightly above-average quarterback play get you in the NFL? Why don’t we ask the Bengals? Or we can ask the Buccaneers. Maybe ask the Jay Cutler-era Bears. It leaves you with a quarterback who is JUST good enough to justify keeping him around for years after he has proven not to be the answer. That, my friends, is quarterback purgatory. Looking for your next franchise quarterback is better than being stuck with a player who does just enough not to be replaced.
Then Why Did Teddy Start, Idiot?
This is the question I hear most when I back Taysom Hill over Teddy Bridgewater, publicly. There are a couple of answers here. First and most importantly, Teddy is, stylistically, closer to Drew Brees than Taysom is. Therefore, Teddy fit better into the offense that was already in place. Secondly, Taysom playing quarterback would have left the team depleted at numerous other positions. Given an offseason to implement new offensive concepts and retool the depth chart, both of those issues disappear.
What If Drew Comes Back?
The biggest “what if” of the offseason. If Drew Brees returns for one more run at the Lombardi Trophy, there simply isn’t enough cap space to keep both Teddy and Drew while paying them accordingly. I highly doubt Teddy takes another team-friendly deal. His opportunity to get that huge contract will not be there forever. He should take the money while it’s there for him. Taysom, on the other hand, is a restricted free agent and is almost a lock to come back on a short term team-friendly contract. Should Brees come back, he has already stated his willingness to share snaps with Hill.
Now, if Brees rides off into the sunset, there is more of a path to Teddy sticking around. However, as we have discussed, that might not be the best thing for the long-term.
Taysom Hill is Up Next
There are a number of ways to attack the quarterback position this offseason if Drew retires. The Saints can look to the NFL Draft, make a trade or bring in another veteran free agent. However, if the team is resigned to choosing between Taysom and Teddy… Taysom Hill should be the next starting quarterback for the Saints. Whether or not he is the long-term answer remains to be seen. But going with Taysom gets you closer to your next franchise signal-caller whether he succeeds or fails. Taysom has had two Hall of Fame worthy mentors in Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. Here’s hoping a little bit of them rubbed off on Hill. If not, we turn in another direction and get a couple more years of this stuff…
Teddy Needs to Start
Teddy Bridgewater is, without a doubt, one of the best 32 quarterbacks in the NFL. He may even be Top-20. And, although he isn’t top-tier, he deserves to start. I want him to start! His starting opportunity just needs to happen on another squad. Some team is going to give him 15-25 million a year, and he deserves every penny. Good luck, Teddy! Colts? Patriots? Chargers? Bears? Raiders? Come and get your man!
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