There’s always been this weird fascination with Taysom Hill.
Don’t get us wrong. He’s a do-everything player, and while he’s listed on the Saints depth chart as a quarterback, he can do just about everything for New Orleans, which has featured him at everything from running back to fullback to tight end, and then some. He’s even a big-time special teams player for the Saints and if coach Dennis Allen asked him to line up at defensive end, he’d probably do so without as much of a second thought. However, that doesn’t mean he’s the Shohei Ohtani of football. Hill, often described as a Swiss army knife is an above-average athlete, but nothing he does is particularly special. We’ve tried to make Taysom Hill a thing time and time again, but it just hasn’t particularly stuck.
That’s why it came as a surprise when Ross Tucker sang Hill’s praises on Sunday’s broadcast of the Titans-Saints game. On CBS’s broadcast of Sunday’s game, Tucker took it a step further than Ohtani.
The seventh-year player out of BYU was the subject of one of the more absurd comparisons that you’ll see this season and was only in Week 1. After lining up in the wildcat and taking a QB draw right up the middle for four yards, Tucker had this to say about the 33-year-old Hill:
“I’m not kidding when I think and I tell you, I think he’s one of the best football players ever in Taysom Hill. I know he’s not a Hall of Famer or any of that. This guy can play quarterback, running back, tight end. He makes tackles on special teams. This guy’s like Jim Thorpe. I mean, can you name any other guys that’ve ever done all the things that Taysom Hill did? He’s like the perfect football player.”
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
The Pro Football Hall of Fame has an excerpt on Thorpe, who was inducted into Canton, Ohio in 1963.
“While Thorpe’s exploits tend to be exaggerated with the passing years, there is no question he was superb in every way. He could run with speed as well as bruising power. He could pass and catch passes with the best, punt long distances and kick field goals either by dropkick or placekick.”
Of course, Thorpe was also one of the greatest athletes in the history of the world as the Pentathlon and Decathlon champion at the 1912 Olympics. He even also played professional baseball. Does that sound like Taysom Hill?
What’s wrong with describing players as versatile? It’s not like versatility is lost art, in fact, versatility is generally preached at every level of football and every position in the NFL. Tucker could’ve merely described Hill as one of the best versatile players in the league or of his generation, but comparing him to Jim Thorpe and describing him as a perfect football player is a step too far.
And Tucker was chided for saying as such.
“I’m not kidding when I see he’s one of the best football players ever.” — the color commentator on the TAYSOM HILL.
I’M OFF THE HOOK! I NO LONGER HAVE THE WORST SPORTS TAKE OF 2023!!!
— nick wright (@getnickwright) September 10, 2023
The FS1 host predicted that the Chiefs would go 20-0 and was later dunked on by the Detroit Lions’ social media team for his failed prediction. Unfortunately for Wright, his prediction made last week lasted just one night of the regular season, as the Chiefs lost 21-20. Wright even got a tattoo on his arm to commemorate his self-proclaimed hot take, which he was very proud of putting forward.
No word on whether Tucker has a Taysom Hill tattoo.
It wasn’t just Wright who chided Tucker for his take, though.
You wait you’re whole career to become a national TV NFL game analyst, and this is what you say in your first game? https://t.co/s0zTQ8NXzi
— Stuart Goldman (@stuart_goldman) September 10, 2023
— Mikewichter (@mikewichter) September 10, 2023
I propose this theory:
Taysom Hill *could* have been one of the greatest players of all time had he played before 1945.
He probably wouldn't have played quarterback, though. He would have been an All-Pro receiver/defensive back. https://t.co/ufjUVuVuPO
— Scott Nuzum (@apeman33) September 10, 2023
Man, he might not even be one of the greatest players out of BYU. https://t.co/FV0UH0XcWu
— Greg Rajan (@GregRajan) September 10, 2023
Taysom Tebow https://t.co/0TRZejWcK6
— Wlat Harris (@pantherrants) September 10, 2023
Hill had a tackle on special teams in Sunday’s game. He now has 12 tackles for his career. He also had three rushes for four yards and was targeted once in the passing game. While he didn’t double down on his take, Tucker voiced his displeasure with Hill lining up in the wildcat formation, offering that he thinks any designed run plays for the 33-year-old are ginormous tells for the opposing defense. And his stats reflected as such.