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Transcript - Taysom Hill Conference Call 11/25/20 | Week 12 at Broncos

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill talks about his journey to the NFL and the preparations for the Saints Week 12 matchup against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High on November 29, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Taysom Hill
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

We haven't talked to you since Sunday. What have these past few days been like for you after your first start?
"Yeah, it's been good. It's really allowed me some time to watch the film and learn from film, but then really take everything in. We always have a rule around here, 24 hour rule, enjoy the win, and I was able to do that with some family and then learn from that experience, and then get ready to start all over and do it again."

Just growing up in the Mountain West. I guess I didn't know if you were a Broncos fan, or a Seattle fan growing up. What does it mean to you to be playing in Colorado? Not close to home, but closer to home?
"Yeah, I think kind of by default, you naturally supported those teams in that area, because those are teams that were always televised. So I certainly grew up watching them play and remember some of the greats that played there. I'm a little disappointed, 2020's been a unique season where we played in Vegas, obviously going to Denver, which has been the closest proximity to where I grew up in and we won't be able to have any family or friends there. But I'm certainly excited to go back and be somewhat close to home."

You were pretty open about how you reflected on your journey and got a little emotional last week, were there any one or two stops along the way that really stood out when you thought back? I know, obviously, that 2016 recovery stands out in my mind, but anything in particular that stood out to you?
"No, I wouldn't say there's one event that sticks out more than another. My wife and I dealt with a lot of disappointment through college, where pretty much every one of my offseasons but one, was spent rehabbing from an injury. And so when you work hard to mentally, emotionally overcome that, step into another season, just have another disappointment, I would say it was the combination of every year of the five years that I was at BYU, which is really what caused us to reflect. A lot of people don't see behind the scenes of that process, what my wife went through with me and taking care of me. And so it has been really rewarding to be able to go through that experience with her. And again, it was really a great time for her and I to reflect on all those experiences."

And you said you had a 24 hour rule, did that mean leaving a lot or overwhelming amount of texts and phone calls unreturned?
"Yes, I left my phone alone Sunday night and enjoyed the evening with my wife and parents and I had some other family in town. We just enjoyed the time and (I) was able to hang out with my son. And as you can imagine, I didn't have a ton of time to spend with those guys through the week, last week. So we tried to catch up Sunday and Monday."

Two parts here. First, what will you be looking to improve on? And second, did you learn anything about yourself that you didn't already know?
"Yeah, there are a couple things that stick out in my mind from the game last week and really, it was just some timing elements to a few particular route concepts, a few protections, timing elements protection wise too that I felt like I could have been better at last week. So as I watched the film, and was making notes and kind of reviewed that, those were a couple things that stood out to me, but it's really just a few timing things. As far as proving to myself, I would not say that I was able to do something that I did not know I was capable of. I've always felt I was capable of being a starter in this league. And it really just came down to having the opportunity. So, I was not surprised from that standpoint. I'm always believed in myself."

Someone did a breakdown showing your footwork with (Drew) Brees' footwork. You guys looked almost exactly the same. I'm just curious how much work have you've put into that aspect of your game? How has that helped you and what's that process been like?
"Yeah, when I first got here in 2017, I was claimed, I showed up here Sunday, we have practice Monday, getting ready to play Monday Night Football against the Vikings. And I had a conversation with our quarterbacks coach (Joe Lombardi). He just made a comment to me like, 'Man, we're in season now so our responsibility is to make sure Drew is ready to go. So all of our time and energy is going to be spent game planning, making sure he likes the game plan, and he's ready for it. So with that being said, the best advice I could give you is to just do what Drew does.' And so I did my best to take that to heart. We all know how great Drew is and how competitive he is. But behind the scenes, he's an incredible mentor. And so I've tried to adopt everything that that guy has done. I think I mentioned this postgame on Sunday, but I didn't realize what it took to prepare to be a starter in this league until I got here with Drew and I had the opportunity to observe him as he prepared week in and week out. And without having that experience, I wouldn't have been able to be as prepared as I was Sunday, but to answer your question, sorry it's a long winded answer, but I've absolutely worked on trying to adopt how he functions in his offense."

Does that help you be more accurate, the footwork? Like how has that helped improve your game?
"Yeah, I think that's a classic teaching point, when you're coming up as a quarterback, let your feet tell you where you need to go. Your feet tells you timing when the ball needs to come out. And I would say that we pretty much and Drew pretty much has a routine with his footwork on every play. Just an example, there's a play that we put in today that I was asking him, 'Hey, what do you do on this play?' And he had a very specific answer. He's been great with that."

You were very patient in the pocket on Sunday. Is that something with your ability to run the ball, is that something that you have to sometimes maybe fight an instinct to run? And were you happy with your patience and waiting for things to develop? And how you handled maybe that part of playing?
"Yeah, overall yes, I was. I think always, if you are a guy that can run or you are a more athletic quarterback. So often people peg you as a runner, and say, 'Man, you'd prefer to run it than throw it or whatever.' But I would not say that, that is not my mindset. As I step up in the pocket, my idea's to keep my eyes downfield. And look, I had an opportunity to learn from Aaron (Rodgers), who I think has done some of the best scrambles and make big plays happen, because he is athletic enough to get outside the pocket. And I think that's when a lot of big plays happen, too. So my rule is keep your eyes downfield, if nothing presents themselves, and you have an opportunity to get some yards then I'm going to do that. But I went around to all my receivers pregame. I said, 'Make sure you guys continue to work for me. There's going to be opportunities where I break contain, I step up, that the defense will react to that. So just keep working.' But that's my mindset."

I'm curious if you think your hometown, where you were raised, shaped at all. And how you're able to deal with the setbacks you've had in college and having to wait in the pros and all that.
"Well, I don't know if my hometown specifically, but certainly my parents and the way that I was raised there. My siblings, being the youngest of four kids. I felt like I was always a kid trying to catch up to my older siblings. And I felt like my parents instilled a lot of great habits in me in terms of work ethic and being okay to go out and try really hard and not always win, but assessing what you could do better. So I'd say, certainly the way that I was raised has helped me that way If that answers your question."

How influential do you expect these few games here to be on your career path? Could it be a pivotal launching point or would that be overplaying it in the big picture?
"Look, I'm taking every game very seriously. We've talked before, but there are a lot of really great players that just didn't get opportunities in the NFL. And these opportunities are few and far between. So my mindset is to do everything I can to take advantage of every single opportunity. So I'm preparing as hard as I can for each and every opportunity and each game is a big game for me."

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