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Transcript - Taysom Hill Conference Call 12/9/20 | Week 14 at Eagles

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill talks about overcoming obstacles throughout the season and the preparations for the Saints Week 14 matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on December 13, 2020.

New Orleans Saints Quarterback Taysom Hill
Video Call with New Orleans Media
Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Now that you've watched the film from last week, what stands out to you that maybe wasn't immediately at the forefront of your mind coming off of that one?
"Man, I felt we, I felt like we played really well, at every position. I felt like our O-line did a great job up front in the run game and in the pass game. And man, especially early, we were really good on third down. So I was really, really happy with that. Certainly there are some things that, you know, we could clean up as a whole, there are certain things that I could have done better. But overall, I thought we played pretty well."

If Drew (Brees) is ready to come back and play, and if your three games as a starting quarterback are done for now, are you okay with the tape that you put out there with what you were able to show?
"Yeah, I mean, look, it is what it is. So, the tape doesn't lie. I felt like, overall, I was happy, I was happy with what we did. And then at the end of the day, the statistic that you care about is wins and losses. And we won three games. And so, overall, I was really happy about that. And I feel like as a quarterback early in his career, certainly early in my career starting and everything else, I felt like managing and handling that overall, I was really happy with, knowing there are a lot of places that I could get better. But, it's nice knowing that we were winning football games and still feeling like you could get better."

I think you're completing like 85% of your passes on third down? What about, you know, what has allowed you or what have you been focusing on to kind of have that success?
"Well, Coach (Payton) talks all the time, third down is a money down. We've got to be good on third down, keep drives alive, so we score touchdowns and not kick field goals. So that's been an area of emphasis throughout the season. And I'd say that, as we step into tomorrow as our third down day, there has been a big emphasis on that, making sure that as a quarterback, I am comfortable with what we are trying to do, my reads and thought process, each individual play is clean and they've done a really good job about that, to where as I get the call, on third down, I know exactly what my thought process is. So part of it is coaches have done a great job. And then it's nice when you have guys like Mike (Thomas) and Emmanuel (Sanders), Alvin (Kamara) and Jared (Cook) to get the ball to."

You've been a part of now, a team that's won three different NFC South titles. So, I was curious what this locker room looks like, how you think this group of guys is doing and how it compares to some of the teams you've been on in the past?
"Tood question. I think the nice thing, at least since I've been here, this is obviously my fourth year, the leadership has really not changed. As you look at some of the captains that we've had, obviously Drew's (Brees) been a consistent captain, Terron's (Armstead) been consistent over the last couple years. And then, defensively Cam (Jordan) has been consistent. Demario (Davis) has been consistent. And so, I think the leadership's set the expectation, the expectation is to win football games. This is an organization where we win football games. And Coach talked about it today, that as we step onto the facility onto the grounds, day one training camp, the number one goal is, and the first goal is to win the division. We certainly have goals that reach higher than that, but that's the expectation. I think having consistent leadership has been really big."

What goes into work working on ball security? Is it carrying a football around all the time? Is it carrying your son around more? Is it a combination of a bunch of things? Just working on that, outside of live game reps?
"Yeah, look, I think that there are mechanics that you can address, certainly, pressure points and how you hold the ball. And then, I think overall, I think if you study film, you can see where there are weak ones, where someone might target you, whether it's a top down back or something else. So, I think it's understanding where the weak point is, as you're a ballcarrier. And then working on that and from a practice standpoint, there are drills that we can do that, you know, that we'll work on."

Doug Pederson said they looked at tape of you when they were trying to find things for Jalen Hurts to do. Do you see any parallels there between yourself and him? And the second thing is, if you could just comment on the way the Saints or the organization, the team has been able to handle all the different things that have kind of come your guys' way this year, whether it be missing starters, or COVID, or those kinds of things?
"I obviously watched Jalen (Hurts) play in college. (I'm) Really impressed with what he was able to accomplish at the different places that he played at. He's a proven winner and he showed that at the college level, and he's athletic. I know he is strong. So, I think that there are some parallels, certainly from my game to his. And I have been impressed with him as a player. And then as far as what we have been able to overcome this year, again, I think the leadership in this locker room starting with Mickey (Loomis), as a GM, and then Coach Payton. And the philosophy is like, man, the show must go on. And they've done a really nice job of making sure that everyone's prepared, not just the starters. And then I think the leadership has put a high expectation that, you know, if you're not an everyone guy, you've got to make sure that you are ready to step into that role if your opportunity calls. And that's the expectation around here."

Do you feel like you're still kind of learning the receivers as far as like, the timing and reading the body language and stuff like that? Is that something that's gotten better each week as you've played more?
"Yeah, I would say it's certainly gotten better. I would say, you're limited in the live reps you get, Week 12,13 of the regular season. And so, it really is a hard thing to make sure that everything is on point. I would say, as I go through training camp, as I work with Drew (Brees), I do everything I can to marry my footwork up to Drew's. So, I can step in and the timing, everything is still there. And that doesn't change. So, it's certainly something that I'm continuing to work on. But, I've tried to prepare myself, not having reps with a lot of these guys. That my footwork, marries Drew's so everything times up the same with those guys. And I think that so far it's made for a smooth transition."

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