During Sunday’s Titans-Saints game, CBS Sports analyst Ross Tucker compared Saints quarterback Taysom Hill to Jim Thorpe. Specifically, Tucker said that Hill was “one of the best football players ever,” that he’s “like Jim Thorpe,” and “like the perfect football player.”
That take was roundly lampooned on social media.
Ross Tucker calls Taysom Hill one of the greatest football players ever. For real life!
"This guy is like Jim Thorpe… he's like the perfect football player." pic.twitter.com/wyICHTUU5o
— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 10, 2023
On Monday, Tucker went on The Dan Patrick Show and defended his take on Hill, saying “he’s the closest thing to Jim Thorpe in my lifetime.”
“I might have said one of the best pure football players, or one of the best all-around football players,” said Tucker. “If you listen to the whole thing, that’s what I meant. I’m not talking about a Hall of Famer or all-time greats like Tom Brady or Lawrence Taylor, Jerry Rice…”
Tucker then called Hill “the closest thing to Jim Thorpe in my lifetime.”
He then went on to say Hill “can run with speed, can run with power. He’s started games at quarterback. He is a kickoff returner. He makes tackles on the punt team and the kickoff team. He plays fullback, running back, they split him out wide. If you’re talking about all of the things a football player can do, the essence of a football player—blocking, tackling, running, catching, throwing—I can’t think of anyone else like him. He’s the closest thing to a guy like Jim Thorpe, or what we’ve read about Jim Thorpe, in my lifetime.”
Patrick pointed out that Hill “isn’t good enough” to start at any of the positions he plays and that he is “a great curiosity” but “not a great football player.” Patrick then labeled Hill “a very versatile football player,” which isn’t inaccurate.
Tucker responded by talking more about everything Hill can do. “When you’re talking about all-around, pure football players, what you ask football players to do, I don’t know anybody that can do as many different things as Taysom Hill, which I think makes him one of the best all-around football players that I can think of.” He closes by saying that while Hill isn’t a Pro Bowl or All-Pro caliber player, he’s “one of the most unique, coolest, best pure football players I can think of.”
Sunday, Hill played a total of 17 snaps on offense and special teams in the Saints’ 16-15 win over the Titans, recording one tackle while carrying the ball three times for four yards.