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Sports New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen: Taysom Hill to be used as tight end in 2022

20:30  29 march  2022
20:30  29 march  2022 Source:   usatoday.com

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Do-it-all New Orleans Saints player Taysom Hill will be doing one fewer thing moving forward, at least officially: playing quarterback.

Hill, who agreed in November to a four-year, $40 million contract extension with $20 million guaranteed, will be deployed at tight end, head coach Dennis Allen said Tuesday morning at the NFL annual owners meetings in Palm Beach, Florida.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) throws a pass to tight end Juwan Johnson (83) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio) © The Associated Press New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) throws a pass to tight end Juwan Johnson (83) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 19, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

"A lot more of the F tight end, move tight end type of role," Allen said. "I think that’s the direction that we need to move with him, cause I think he may be one of the better players in the league in that role."

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Later on Tuesday, the Saints signed veteran quarterback Andy Dalton to a one-year, $3 million contract, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.

Hill, 31, had been officially listed as a quarterback on New Orleans' roster over his five seasons there, starting nine games at the position over the last two years. The Saints went 7-2 in Hill's starts.

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After longtime quarterback Drew Brees retired following the 2020 season, Hill was under consideration to take over as the team's starter, per multiple reports. The Saints, however, eventually tabbed Jameis Winston to take over and kept Hill as a backup who often entered games in specialty packages. When Winston went down with a torn anterior cruciate ligament Oct. 31, former coach Sean Payton appointed then-backup Trevor Siemian as the temporary starter. But when Siemian struggled and the Saints went 0-4, Payton benched Siemian and inserted Hill as the starter.

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Hill completed 58.2% of his passes last season for 978 yards with four touchdowns but threw five interceptions. He also added 374 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns.

But as the team is prepared to turn the reins back to Winston for the 2022 season after re-signing him on a two-year deal, Allen is looking for Hill to contribute more than merely being a backup passer.

"If Jameis is out there playing quarterback, I don't like Taysom standing next to me on the sideline," Allen continued. "So I think you'll see him more in that type of role."

In his career, Hill has also lined up at receiver and running back. He also has returned punts and was also on punt coverage. When lined up under center, he has often taken the ball on designed rushes. Given his versatility, New Orleans could still feasibly use Hill in the passing game on gadget plays in 2022.

Hill has completed 64.2% of his passes in his career for 2,025 yards with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. On the ground, he has rushed for 1,183 yards on 221 carries with 16 rushing scores and has also caught 34 passes for 388 yards and seven receiving scores.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New Orleans Saints coach Dennis Allen: Taysom Hill to be used as tight end in 2022

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