Back in 2017, when Taysom Hill was drafted by the Saints, Sean Payton envisioned him as the future starter.
By adding Hill to special teams, Payton saw his abilities and continued to get him more involved in the game plan. Little did Payton know, Hill would end up changing the importance of backup quarterbacks forever.
The miracle run of the 2019 Tennessee Titans also started when backup, Ryan Tannehill, replaced Marcus Mariota as the starting quarterback.
Backup quarterbacks are increasingly having a more important role. Of course the backup quarterback’s main role is to “backup” the starting quarterback if they were not able to play or teach and lead the team as a veteran.
But in a day and age where quarterbacks are designed to escape the pocket and use their legs to extend plays, injuries are much more common. Take the 2018 Super Bowl champion Eagles for example.
When Carson Wentz escaped the pocket and ran for the end zone, he torn his ACL. Currently in playoff position, the Eagles had to rely on Nick Foles for the rest of the year. Having Foles, a quarterback who tied the record for most touchdown passes in a game, as their backup, proved to help them en route to a Lombardi Trophy.
Teddy Bridgewater and Matt Moore both led the Saints and Chiefs to undefeated records when their All-Pro quarterbacks were injured. It is no question that having a great backup helps when your star QB is injured.
A offense with Taysom Hill allows option. Teams like the Eagles and Bills may be preparing to do similar things with dual-threat, newly-drafted quarterbacks Jalen Hurts and Jake Fromm. Not only can these players play a flex-like position, but they could also be the future of these franchises.
Quarterbacks that used to have a starting job and were later replaced are becoming more and more popular backups for teams. For example, after an impressive year in Tennessee, Ryan Tannehill earned himself a new beginning and a large contract.
Teams that have a mediocre quarterback and/or are on the cusp of making the playoffs each year, are now signing quarterbacks that were once starters.
Especially in this years free agency, quarterbacks were jumbled up. The Saints signed Jamesis Winston, Marcus Mariota went to the Raiders, Kirk Cousins went to the Browns, Nick Foles to the Bears, Teddy Bridgewater to the Panthers, and just recently, Andy Dalton to the Cowboys.
These moves allow for teams to get a little competition at the quarterback position to see if they can get a better quarterback for a lower price.
Photo: John Amis/Associated Press