Drew Brees’ retirement officially opened a new chapter for the New Orleans Saints. For the first time in 15 years, the team will open the season without the future Hall of Famer under center. Head coach and offensive play-caller Sean Payton has worked without Brees for limited stretches in the past, but 2021 will force him to construct an entire system without Brees and his supercomputer mind at the center. Instead, either Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill, both projects acquired by the Saints in recent years, will handle signal-caller duties.
Latest camp news
Both Winston and Hill have shined in moments, but neither has demonstrated consistency as of yet. NOLA.com’s Luke Johnson recorded one interception for Winston during full-team drills thus far in camp while Hill has tossed two picks, including one on Friday. Winston, who tossed 30 interceptions in his last run as an NFL starter, has never played with much ball security while Hill’s limitations as a passer make him a liability in obvious-throwing situations, and training camp has done little to change those perceptions.
Current DraftKings Sportsbook odds
Jameis Winston to take the Saints’ first snap in 2021 regular season: Yes (-150), No (+120)
Next preseason game: vs. the Baltimore Ravens
After losing Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency, the Baltimore Ravens will feature a much different defensive front than they did a year ago. That, along with the vanilla defensive play-calling that typically accompanies a preseason game, should give Winston and Hill plenty of chances to show how far they’ve come in head coach Sean Payton’s offense.
Pre-Week 1 preseason prediction
While the Saints opted to start Hill over Winston during Brees’ injury absence in 2020, Winston offers the most upside and passing talent. Hill will have a role in the offense even if he doesn’t win the quarterback competition, but Winston has the best path to starting job as things stand.
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