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Taysom Hill is Mr. Everything for New Orleans Saints

Impressive position resume has grown this season


This is the stuff that'll be remembered long after Taysom Hill no longer plays in the NFL.

No, really.

Former John Ehret (Marrero, La.) High star Kordell Stewart, a quarterback, burst onto the national scene in the NFL as "Slash," a running/throwing/receiving threat for the Pittsburgh Steelers early in a career that lasted from 1995-2005.

The Saints' No. 3 quarterback – the name "Mr. Everything" floated across the locker room while he was being interviewed – says hold my energy drink. Or nutritional smoothie. Or whatever it is that he pours into an engine that drives, arguably, the most multidimensional player in the NFL.

"I don't know that off the top of my head," he said Friday, trying to calculate the number of duties he has been given through the first three games of the season for the Saints (2-1), who play the Giants (1-2) on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

"I think, kickoff return there's a couple there, as a returner and as a blocker. Punt return, there's one there. Punt (cover), there's one there. Kickoff (cover), there's one there – played multiple spots in kickoff. Are you keeping track?

"Quarterback. And then, let's call it slot-tight-end-and-running-back."

That's a taste of game action, at the highest level of football, in eight places. Hill's touch reaches farther than raw numbers (three carries for 39 yards, with a long of 35; four kickoff returns for 111 yards, with a long of 47; and a special team tackle).

His game action almost never seems to end.

"It's constant," Hill said. "By the time I finish the game, I'm pretty worn out. I think it goes from special teams – every time you step on the field as a special teams guy, it's zero to 100 really quickly, for 60, 70 yards sometimes. And then, you never get to rest and recover because there's so many personnel groupings offensively that you have to make sure that you're ready for."

But the smile on Hill's face, and the approach he takes to his work, are the tells that he's loving the labor.

"I think at the end of the day, yes, I'm a quarterback and I hope to have the opportunity to play quarterback here in the long run," he said. "But I'm a competitor, and any opportunity to get on the field is a plus for me. I also understand the nature of my position, that there's only one quarterback on the field at a time. So I'm grateful for the coaches here that had a vision and created opportunities for me. My mind-set is to go take advantage of each one.

"They come to me with ideas and it's really, I come in the morning and I kind of go through the install to see where they have me that day or that week. But I think that there's an unwritten rule, and they know, that I'm willing to do whatever it is that they ask. Honestly, at the end of the day, I'm grateful for the opportunity."

There's a locker room full of teammates who appreciate his performances.

"This is a hard league," receiver Michael Thomas said. "They always preach, 'The more you can do,' and I feel like he speaks volumes to that. He's a great example that you can show, 'The more you can do.'

"It's going to be hard to beat out Drew Brees and play quarterback, but he's adding value to different areas of the game that are changing the game and adding momentum to the team, and doing cool things for the organization. That's real cool to see, to see a guy have the strength, the willpower, to not be selfish, to just go out there and help the team any way he can. I think he's the definition of that.

"I feel like he's a sparkplug, people see that and they're like, 'This guy's not even a running back but he just split through the defense,' or, 'This guy just learned how to play this position last week, but he just made an impact play.' Stuff like that is contagious."

Contagious, because it's noteworthy when a player who recalls, at most, playing quarterback, a few plays at cornerback in certain situations, and punting and kicking in high school, lines up to play tight end in some formations for the Saints.

"That has been a learn-on-the-fly," Hill said of playing tight end. "My comment to the coaches is that is a much easier block than a kick return block, when you have a guy screaming down at you. I think that there's some stuff that I've needed to learn and I've spent some extra time with the tight end coach making sure that I'm competent at doing it. But at the end of the day, you just go compete."

And compete, and compete, and compete – at any and all of eight possible spots.

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