What We Can Learn From Saints QB Taysom Hill
Taysom embodies all of these, and on Sunday, they were on full display.
Hill suffered 4 season-ending injuries while playing football in college and fought his way back each time (GRIT). He was an undrafted quarterback who had yet to start a game since his senior year at BYU, had only 20 passing attempts in his NFL career, and featured mostly on special teams (more GRIT, willing to do anything to be on the field). But with an injured Drew Brees, head coach Sean Peyton finally called his number this past week, 5-years since his last start (PATIENCE). Hill was chosen over Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, and he made the most of it. After a week of being torn apart in the news and on social media, dubbed as a “novelty act,” Hill took the field and silenced all the naysayers. He threw for 233 yards, with 51 yards rushing and two touchdowns in a 24-9 win over the Falcons (GRACE).
With plenty of reasons to shove it back in their faces, when asked about his doubters in his post-game press conference and his journey to this point, Hill took the high road, “I spent a lot of time reflecting this week,” Hill said. “My wife and I had so many conversations about where we’ve been in the process of getting here. And if I’m being honest, it was an emotional week. I felt a lot of love from a lot of people. It was overwhelming in a good way “ (HUMILITY).
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Hill played 3-sports in high school and originally committed to play at Stanford. But fate would intervene. After choosing to go on a mission with his church (CHARACTER), he returned in January, and Stanford didn’t allow players to join the team until June. So he chose BYU instead.
Originally un-drafted, Hill signed with the Packers as a free agent but quickly made his way to the Saints, where he has played sparingly in various positions over the past three years. When he arrived at training camp in 2017, he said he had no idea what it took to be a quality starting quarterback in the NFL. But Drew Brees took him under his wing, and Hill has been soaking it up. And this week, his friend was his biggest supporter. “Drew was with me every step of the way this week, just constantly asking what I needed and how he could be helpful,” Hill said. “He was such a comfort for me to have around…I look up to him so much; he’s one of my best friends.” (RESPECT).
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And at one point in the game, after Hill converted a 4th and goal and ran it in for a score, the cameras caught Brees beaming from the sideline like a proud uncle. Grit, Character, patience, grace, humility, and respect. This athlete has already taught us more than most in one night.