Saints QBs

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) and New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) run a play during the first day of training camp at the Ochsner Sports Performance Center on Airline Drive in Metairie, Thursday, July 29, 2021. (Staff photo by David Grunfeld,, The Times-Picayune, The New Orleans Advocate Content Exchange

METAIRIE, La. - The first snaps in the battle to replace a New Orleans Saints legend went to Taysom Hill.

For the first time since the 2005 season, the Saints held a training camp practice in which Drew Brees was not the unquestioned leader of the offense. Brees retired this March, the Saints made a commitment to allowing Hill and Jameis Winston compete for the starting job, and they are making good on that promise now.

Though Hill worked with the first team, and though all of Winston's full-team practice repetitions came with the second unit, coach Sean Payton said after practice that the roles would rotate so the team can get a look at how both fit within the starting offense.

Here are a few observations from Day 1 of the post-Drew Brees era.

The numbers

Taysom Hill: 5 completions in 7 attempts during full team drills

Jameis Winston: 7 completions in 8 attempts during full team drills

Behind the numbers

While both Winston and Hill completed a high percentage of their passes (and Hill's numbers may have been better if not for what appeared to be a dropped pass by Deonte Harris), Winston clearly had the better day throwing the football.

All but one of Hill's completions appeared to travel fewer than seven or eight yards past the line of scrimmage, and both of his incompletions came on his downfield attempts (though, again, Harris could have helped him on one). Three of those completions came either at or behind the line of scrimmage.

Winston, meanwhile, cut it loose on several of his attempts. His zipped his first pass attempt of the day on time and in stride to former Tulane receiver Jalen McCleskey near the sideline on a deep crosser, then two pass attempts later found Juwan Johnson for a similar completion.

The Saints did not run through red zone or two-minute offense drills, sticking mostly to the middle of the field, but Winston likely would've had the only touchdown between the two when Harris got behind new Saints signee Brian Poole on a play action pass.

Harris had Poole beaten by several steps, allowing Winston to put a little more air under the ball to make sure he didn't overthrow the streaking Harris, who caught the ball and raced toward the end zone.

Winston's lone incompletion was a short pass to rookie Kawaan Baker that was deflected by Ken Crawley.

Moment of the day

Winston's final pass attempt in team drills went to Baker, who bobbled the pass before reeling it in and picking up yards after the catch. After the play, Winston tracked the rookie down and shouted words of encouragement his way.

Quote of the day

"Two very strong leaders, two confident men, they've both got unique styles, unique ways they go about their business and how they do things," said All-Pro left tackle Terron Armstead. "This first practice went really well, the offense had a lot of tempo, we had a lot of would-be big plays."

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