Why the Saints should start Trevor Siemian with a heavy dose of Taysom Hill mixed in

The Saints have flaws on offense.

They’re lacking in firepower and often need to rely on scheme to get players open. New Orleans tried to overcome some of those shortcomings on offense when Jameis Winston was healthy by going big-play hunting, but those days are over. Now, the team will need to find a way to move forward at quarterback with Trevor Siemian or Taysom Hill.

The team has to pick one of those guys to serve as the new starter, and when they do, the opinion here is that player should be Siemian. During last week’s win against the Buccaneers, he showed enough to believe that he can capably manage games. With a week to prepare, he should do a better job of staying out of some of the sticky situations he got saved from by the Buccaneers committing penalties.

But the other reason the Saints should choose Siemian is that going with him doesn’t necessarily mean that Hill isn’t getting picked, too. Picking Siemian means that Hill will remain available to do everything he used to do for this offense.

He can play tight end, wide receiver, running back, and, yes, quarterback. New Orleans should start Siemian at quarterback, but it should also rotate Hill into that spot to run all the various Hill packages we’ve seen before, and perhaps some stuff that has been tucked away, waiting for the right moment.

The best version of this offense with the available players should look like it did with Drew Brees and Hill on the field the last few years. Siemian should be able to operate a safe offense with a lot of quick passes, much like they did against the Bucs, which is how Brees operated the last couple of seasons. Then, Hill can come in and do his power runs, read-options, and even surprise with some standard passing plays.

The major difference between that version of the offense and the one that would make sense for the Saints moving forward is that Hill should be on the field a whole lot more than he was with Brees. New Orleans should ramp it all the way up and run the Taysom-Plus version of this offense.

Imagine Hill staying on the field and mixing in and out on the fly at quarterback. Now think about how that would impact a defense. That might be a little too radical, but New Orleans is in a radical situation right now with its starting quarterback and top wide receiver out for the season. All ideas should be on the table.

In most situations, something like this wouldn’t make sense. With a strong starter, you have to be smart about picking your spots. You have to be even more careful when working with a new guy who is still working to establish himself. With someone like Siemian who knows who he is – and maybe more importantly, who he isn’t — taking a more aggressive two-quarterback approach is easier.

But it is also more than Siemian not being overly territorial. The way Siemian handled last week’s game against Tampa Bay is one of the reasons why it seems like he might be built for this approach. The quarterback came in off the bench and was immediately in a rhythm. He didn’t need to get a feel for things or settle in. So, coming in and out of the game probably wouldn’t be a problem.

Those even-keeled traits left Siemian’s teammates impressed last week.

“You could definitely tell he’s experienced,” wide receiver Tre’Quan Smith said. “Honestly, he came in the game and shocked me. He looked very comfortable in the pocket. He stood in the pocket. He took some hits and still delivered the ball. That just amazed me. He definitely looked like he was ready to play. Like no hiccups.”

The way the Saints’ offense is right now, getting a little weird at quarterback might be the best way to give the opposition some hiccups. If there was ever a time for Sean Payton to unleash all of his crazy ideas for how to use Hill – and you know he’s had some over the years that never saw the field – now would be the time. That approach would be the thing that makes this team dangerous.

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