When it was learned that it would be Thysm Hill, not James Winston, the questions came. From those who know Sean Payton well, to those around the NFL: Wait, what?
Why wouldn’t the backup be the backup?
After talking to several people involved in the situation, it became clear why Hill, the weapon for everything, is expected to start in QB against the Falcons.
“Sean just wants to know,” said a source with a deep knowledge of Peyton̵
That’s it. Of all the factors, this is the main one. Remember that Hill is actually considered a backup of the depth chart.
The Saints have portrayed Drew Breeze as their starter since 2006. They gave Hill a two-year, $ 21 million contract this season with the thought that he is the future, but no one knows for sure. And not until the lights come on.
So Peyton, who identified Hill’s talents right after the film from his time with the Green Bay Packers, wants to know if Hill has been his starter for 10 years or not. The process begins today.
As for Brace, he was placed in the reserve for the wounded on Friday and is not at least three weeks old. It is expected to cope with several fractures of the ribs and a puncture in the lung after 3-4 weeks. The Chiefs game in week 15 is a realistic return date, although Brees hopes it is a week earlier against the Eagles, sources say.
Until he returns, it will be Hill, unless this week is particularly bad. If that happens, Peyton can turn to Winston again.
Hill took reps from the first and second teams in practice this week, with the Saints making sure he was fully prepared for the biggest start of his life. While training was going well and Hill looked prepared, he got into a nervous breakdown earlier in the week. At one point, it seemed that the huge situation could overwhelm him.
But he settled in and had a solid week. Expect Hill to find Alvin Camara and Michael Thomas early on short passes to get him in rhythm and find success.
This is the biggest day in Hill’s career that the Saints claimed in 2017 after he was released by Packers. He was quickly identified as a player the team might want to claim. In particular, he liked Peyton and believes he has potential.
Three years later, Hill has a chance. The way it goes can have a big impact on the next decade in New Orleans.
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