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Saints' Taysom Hill working toward expanded role as receiver in 2023

Taysom Hill, the Saints' jack of all trades, will continue his role wherever he is needed, practicing at multiple positions during the team's offseason program.

Since the beginning of his career in New Orleans, Hill has played at quarterback, wide receiver and tight end while also serving as an effective red-zone rusher and kick returner. He is here, there, and everywhere on offense, the one to help put out any fire that arrives. For some, this may be a challenge too big, but for Hill, he is actually enjoying his time adding to his repertoire.

"It's been fun," Hill told reporters Thursday after the Saints' final mandatory minicamp practice. "We have conversations and stuff with the coaches, but I'm kind of like, I show up and I just try to be ready for whatever it is, but it's good.

"I think we're trying to find this happy medium and happy balance of like, 'Hey, let's be realistic with what we're going to ask you to do this season and make sure that you're getting the time and reps on those things,' and man, I thought the last three days has been really great from that standpoint. That communication between me and the staff and what that is has been really good as well."

Hill played 12 games (starting nine) as quarterback for New Orleans in 2021, throwing 978 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing for 374 yards and adding five more scores. Then in 2022, Hill was featured as a tight end, appearing in 16 games (starting eight) to produce 77 receiving yards and two TDs off nine receptions while also generating a career-high 575 yards and seven TDs on the ground. He added 240 passing yards and two more TDs when asked to throw.

With Derek Carr arriving as QB1 in 2023 and Jameis Winston as his backup, it is unlikely Hill will see more snaps under center. However, that is not a concern for the 32-year-old, who has come into practice ready to work and with an open mind. Hill acknowledged he's been catching a lot more during practice in 2023 compared to throwing and rushing.

"I think maybe doing more as, like, a receiver," Hill said. "I think that's kind of stuff that hasn't been explored a ton with me here. The throwing stuff as a quarterback or running, you know, that's stuff we've been doing that for a long time, and that's come really natural for me. I think running routes and catching balls and stuff that was a foreign thing for me, and I also think because of that we haven't done a ton of it, and I think there's some opportunities there that we just haven't explored yet.

"So as I look at next season, I think the hope and the expectation is that that expands a little bit. You know, I think the nice thing is I'm put in different situations. I can go at it and say, 'Hey, if I was throwing the ball to me,' like, I'm just going to do whatever I want the receiver to do if I was throwing it to him. So, having that perspective, I think, has also helped me and maybe made that transition a little smoother."

Hill later confirmed that what he meant by receiver is him catching passes from the tight end position.

"Yeah, yeah. I mean, look, someone running a route and being thrown to," he said.

2023 will be another test for the six-year veteran, as he prepares for another season being New Orleans' valuable Swiss Army knife.

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