He could not have played much better on Monday night against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He went 9/10, with 123 yards through the air, and two touchdowns.
It’s the type of performance that many are using to justify handing the starting job to the former Florida State star.
It should also be noted that Taysom Hill also did pretty well for himself also against the Jaguars.
Hill went 11/20 for 138 yards and a passing touchdown against Jacksonville.
While the completion percentage in that performance is not what fans would look for out of their starter, he fared much better in a larger and more relevant sample size in 2020.
Hill completed 72.7 percent of his passes in eight games a year ago, which is an impressive clip for a player who has only occasionally dabbled at playing the quarterback position.
Winston has the bigger arm, and the more prolific potential when it comes to airing passes deep down the field.
That is likely why the Saints ending up going with Winston, reportedly, as the Week 1 starter.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 27, 2021
But Hill still figures to be New Orleans’ best all-around weapon under center, and should be strongly considered as a viable option for the starting gig at some point.
An Ongoing Conversation
For the first time in quite a while, the Saints wide receiver room can be categorized as pedestrian, or even underwhelming.
It’s anyone’s guess as to when Michael Thomas will return to the lineup, and a dart throw as to whether he’ll resemble the same All-Pro player NFL fans recall from just two years ago.
Marquez Callaway has had an impressive summer, wowing on the practice field and in preseason games.
However, he was only a complementary player in his rookie season with the Saints, and there’s no guarantee he’ll be able to fill the shoes of a true number one wide receiver.
Tre’quan Smith figures to be the most reliable option, but his level of production without a veteran to play next to will be up in the air.
No matter how you slice it, it’s far from a guarantee that New Orleans’ pass-catchers will be able to generate the kind of separation needed for a player like Winston to take advantage deep.
There may be times, more than the Saints might feel comfortable with, where he’ll have to hold the ball in the pocket.
Even worse, the lack of elite talent might cause Winston to force the ball into non-existent windows, which got him in trouble while with Tampa Bay.
It might make sense for the Saints to look in the mirror and understand that their team won’t resemble the Greatest Show On Turf.
To that end, Hill’s skill set and versatility would be extremely valuable when the play breaks down, and that might happen more than fans might think.
Additionally, Hill’s presence allows for an incredibly diversified portfolio of formations that New Orleans can deploy.
Through the first 2 preseason games, @CallawayMarquez:
8 recs for 165 yds (20.6 avg.) and 2 TDs 🙌
— New Orleans Saints (@Saints) August 25, 2021
Head coach Sean Payton could line him up out wide, covering up the tight end, or as a Wildcat handoff recipient option.
Defenses would be hard-pressed to know what the Saints are truly thinking on offense with Hill on the field.
That lack of utilization predictability from week to week, half to half, and play to play still keeps the former BYU player in the running for the starting quarterback job.