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Transcript: New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill training camp interview - Friday, Aug. 28

Hill spoke with media about his birthday week of training camp, becoming a Dad, and the evolution of his positional roles as the team prepares for the 2020 NFL season at Saints Training Camp 2020

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Taysom Hill
Training Camp Video Call with New Orleans Media
Friday, August 28, 2020

You've had a busy week, a birthday, being a dad, what has this been like for you?
"Oh man, this has been an incredible week. Having the opportunity to be in the hospital and be with my wife and welcome our first child into the world was, man, one of the best moments that my wife and I have experienced together. We've been through that process and we're trying to figure it out. But, man, it's been an incredible week for the Hill family for sure."

Obviously, we know your career arc that you want to be a quarterback ultimately, and you're willing to play this role you've played in the meantime, how does that play out during like summer and training camp? You're obviously so focused right now on quarterback. Do you feel like this is my one month where you get to show how much you've developed and learned at this position? And then you have to put it on the back burner for another 10 months? How do you treat that?
"I think that's probably a fair assessment. As I get into the offseason, I'll tell you my focus is really on becoming as good of a quarterback as I can. I'd say through my workouts and stuff I made sure that I try to implement enough strength training, conditioning to make sure that I'm I can do all the things that I'm asked to do. But right now's kind of a special time for me where I get to hone in, really learn from Drew (Brees) on the field, from the coaches, be coached hard, and it is a really fun time for me to do that. I think as we look forward to the (regular) season, we all know there are going to be different things to what I'm doing. But I also think that can continue to expand as well. Maybe it means a little more quarterback looking into the future and season. But some of those things we'll continue to see how it plays out."

In this offseason in particular, no preseason games and really less time to work with the starting offense probably. How do you how do you measure your growth and development? Where do you see yourself at right now?
Yeah, it's a little disappointing not having preseason games for a guy like me because it really is an opportunity to make sure that I'm getting live reps, game time reps in those games, but I think right now the focus is making sure that I take every practice rep that I get like it's a game situation. (I need to) Make sure I go out to practice having everything ready to go. And I think we've really done a nice job this year of treating practices like game reps, making sure we're taking care of each other. But even if it's not a full speed tempo, making sure mentally we're sharp, I'm sharp as a quarterback to make sure that when we get to these first games, we're ready to go."

First of all, congratulations. Second, in your multiple roles, do you feel like you're able to play more quarterback now because you know those other roles so well and you don't really need to focus as much on them during this time?
"Yeah, I think that's fair. As I've had conversations with other position coaches, the way that this whole thing started was I never really did it in training camp. This was an experiment that happened in the middle of the season. So as we look at how that evolved, I wasn't practicing this in training camp, I just kind of went and did it. And I think we've just kind of adopted that mentality. I think as we're getting closer to game time, I'll start to take a few more reps doing different things. Just so the week leading up to Tampa is not the first time that I'm doing some of this stuff."

Just considering your own journey and having that really successful first preseason as a rookie in Green Bay, what do you kind of think about guys that maybe are in the position you were in once not having that opportunity to kind of show what they can do in games?
"Yeah, this is a conversation that I've had with a number of people. I am honestly disappointed (there aren't preseason games). I think the young guys, the undrafted free agents are the ones that that are hurt the most without doing this, and frankly, I don't know if I'd be here if this was my situation in 2017, my rookie year. The nice thing is, at least for the Saints, Coach (Payton) has created opportunities where guys can showcase what they do. Today was a great example that, but these guys are missing out on opportunities to build a resume for the other 31 teams. We've had conversations with a few young guys, I have specifically. And it's really just man, you've got to make sure that you take advantage of every rep you get in practice."

You mentioned kind of what your focus is on during training camp, but what are some of the areas you kind of worked on and some of the areas you were looking to improve?
"Yeah, I would say the more comfortable I get inside the offense, the better I've played. And so I'd say making sure that I get through my reads quickly. If you look at it (I have looked at) Drew (Brees) and studied his tape, ability to get a play (ready), get a call, get up to the line of scrimmage, recognize what the defense is trying to do, and then assessing where and how we're going to attack that defense with the play we've called. So there's a lot going on from when the plays called from when it's actually ran. I'd say for me, it's making sure I speed that process up, making sure I'm not late with my decision making, throws. And then as a quarterback, I don't think you can ever stop working on accuracy, your footwork and getting through your progression. I would say that has been my main focus has really been the mental side of everything in trying to expedite that process."

Jameis (Winston), he goes from being your division rival and now he's in your position room with you every day. What have you seen from him as he's adjusted to becoming a Saint?
"Yeah, I have really enjoyed having Jameis around. Jameis is a guy that has brought a lot of energy into the QB room. You can tell he loves football. He has been a lot of fun to have in the QB room. This is a room that's really close and we all get along really well and Jameis (has) stepped in and really fit in well with us and it's going to be a great room this year. I think that obviously, with Drew (Brees) the way that he is, It's going to be a productive room."

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