Saints' Taysom Hill on switch to TE: 'This isn't necessarily what I want, it's what's best for the team'

A year ago around this time, Taysom Hill was embroiled in a quarterback competition with Jameis Winston.

There is no QB battle in New Orleans this year, though. Instead, the longtime Saints Swiss army knife is being asked to add another tool to his arsenal and play tight end.

Having long aspired to play quarterback, Hill isn't getting what he was hoping for, but he's going full speed ahead in his latest task.

"Things aren't up to me," Hill said Tuesday, via the team website's Michael Hull. "I'm willing to do what I need to do to help us win football games. ... I love playing, and so it creates opportunities for me to add value and be on the field and compete.

"That's the nature of the NFL. This isn't necessarily what I want, it's what's best for the team and I'm good with that."

Thus, Hill has hopes of catching passes from Winston rather than competing with him.

Currently, Hill is learning a new position while on the mend from a 2021 season-ending Lisfranc injury and a rib injury suffered on July 29, according to the team.

"I'm just starting to ramp up again and take it one day at a time," said Hill, who wore a non-contact red jersey the last two practices.

Hill has started at quarterback for the Saints, come in on gadget plays, played at receiver and been a special teams standout. While he's dabbled at tight end a bit, he is now tasked with truly learning the position.

"I know some of the things they're going to ask me to do," said Hill, who shares the TE1 spot with Adam Trautman in the team's first unofficial depth chart. "I'm still very raw in a lot of this stuff, but it's nice to get some exposure."

The 31-year-old Brigham Young product is heading into his sixth NFL season, but lining up in a three-point stance, for instance, is a novel concept.

"I've never done that before," Hill said. "Like I said, we started from ground zero, and we just started building from there."

With starts and reps at quarterback -- and receiver -- Hill is able to lean on past experience to aid him a bit in the maturation process.

"I kind of just do what I would want a tight end to do if I was playing quarterback for that rep," Hill said. "I've taken that mindset into the tight end position."

But, realistically, playing quarterback and tight end are vastly different.

"I think the element of my game of playing quarterback, there was a physical element to that, but it's a completely different mindset playing tight end versus quarterback," Hill said. "There's certainly a mental element to (tight end), but a far more physical element to play in that position than the quarterback position."

Hill's upfront about the struggle in changing positions and that he'd rather be taking snaps than blocking and catching balls. Ultimately, he's confident he'll still be able to bring his versatility to the Saints offense, even if his primary position is changing from QB to TE.

"We've got a structure of what we've been doing in the past," he said. "I think we'll just continue to build on that.

"I don't think what I have been doing is going to change, it's just expanding that role. ... They're trying to give me the best opportunity to be successful."

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