There seems to have been a slight change in the Saints this season with the arrival of 2 quarter backs lining up on an offensive snap, this isn’t something I have personally seen before however I’m sure it has been done in the past – It has, and in the NFL too but it is very rare.
Taysom hill has proved he is much more than a 3rd choice quarter back. He started over on special teams before switching over to offense too. Lining up under centre, as a running back, a receiver and a TE. Sometimes receiving the snap and sending Brees out wide giving a read option which has proved effective. Especially in 3rd down situations.
Usually the scenarios are towards the Redzone in 3rd and middle situations. Sometimes others. Having 2 players on the field who are:
1. A hall of fame QB
2. A competent thrower.
This leaves all options open on that snap. Giving opposing defensive coordinators a lot of head scratching. Sometimes it won’t work as we saw in one tackle for a loss against the Giants but it’s mainly proving effective so far with crucial completions made on 3rd downs allowing drives to continue. This is down to the skills, desire and commitment of not only Hill but the team as a whole. Coach Payton loves this guy too. As do we all. Have you seen those guns!?
Surprisingly other teams have used the tactic too. The Baltimore Ravens have used rookie quarter back Lamar Jackson to the same effect. Known as a powerful runner it is normally more obvious what type of play is around the corner with Flacco lined up wide but the option of the pass is always there, they are also 3-1 at this stage with a game against the Saints to come later in the schedule.
The downsides I see to these types of plays is the potential for it to become too obvious if used over and over with opposing coaches figuring out the play call early and stopping it all together. Also having Brees lined up out wide a receiver means he isn’t used to his full effect, normally he won’t advance forward looking to catch the ball, he hovers in one spot, reducing your options and defenders will eventually not cover him closely (which could work in the Saints favour possibly, can he catch a dime?).
I wouldn’t be shocked to see more NFL teams follow this lead. Sure, some like Carolina have this option in one guy alone but the element of surprise seems to be coming to fruition at this stage.
I wonder how long before it’s a staple of the majority of team’s offensive playbook.
The return of Mark Ingram to the team may also see a change in this philosophy too as Hill has been used as a Running Back due to his physical running, I’ll tell you one thing, having more weapons on this offense surely can’t hurt!
What’s next? 3 QB sets? Can Teddy B throw a block or haul in a grab? We all have seen his great camera skills already. It will be interesting to find out.