Jameis Winston and long-tenured QB Taysom Hill have been battling for the starting job throughout the entirety of the offseason. With Drew Brees' inevitable retirement, the starting quarterback position became a vacant spot, with the franchise searching for a player to command the talented New Orleans Saints team.
As pre-season concluded for the Saints, head coach Sean Payton named Jameis Winston the starter in NOLA. Here's a look at how Winston usurped Taysom Hill as the starting quarterback.
Jameis Winston's starting experience
Winston, 27, was selected as the number one pick in the 2015 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in hopes of becoming their franchise guy. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case.
While Tampa Bay wasn't a pleasant experience overall, he did amass a total of 70 games as the starting signal caller, compared to the handful of games Hill started while Drew Bress was injured in 2020.
The best teacher is experience, and Jameis Winston has featured in a multitude of high-leverage moments that Taysom Hill simply can't replicate at this point in his career. With a team as well constructed as the Saints, it's imperative that the 53-man roster is led by a player who possesses valuable experience in the NFL as a captain and quarterback.
Explosive play potential
In 2019, Jameis Winston infamously threw for a disastrous 30 interceptions. Unfortunately, this stat will forever be engraved in league history, but there is an upside.
That season, Winston threw for 33 touchdowns and 5,109 yards, joining an exclusive list of 12 quarterbacks who have accomplished this incredible feat.
Jameis Winston's undeniable arm talent, coupled with Sean Payton's genius in developing complex offensive schemes, gives the Saints a chance to be one of the league's best passing attacks. His ability to throw the ball down the field and produce quality offense can't be ignored despite his deficiencies.
Payton must believe that under the tutelage of Drew Brees a season ago, Winston fixed his issues turning over the football, giving the former number one overall pick the edge over Hill.
Week 2 of the preseason
The Monday night game against the Jacksonville Jaguars was the icing on the cake for Jameis Winston. His dazzling prowess as a passer was on full display in Week 2 as he went 9-of-10 passing for 123 yards and two pinpoint deep balls resulting in touchdowns.
His pass downfield traveled 53.3 yards in the air and displayed his remarkable arm strength. While Drew Brees ran the offense the last few seasons, even he couldn't deliver deep balls like Winston currently can. Furthermore, Sean Payton's offense is predicated on such throws, making Jameis Winston the correct choice to start the season.