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High precedence for winner of Saints’ Winston-Hill QB battle? Join with Alvin Kamara – New Orleans Saints Weblog


METAIRIE, Louisiana – New Orleans Saints manager Sean Payton joked – but not really – when he said he told quarterbacks Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston, “Every time you check a ball to the running back, become one Have articles written. “

Payton was obviously paying attention to either Saints Twitter or Fantasy Football Twitter. Because both fan bases have serious concerns about whether the next starting New Orleans QB can further maximize Alvin Kamara’s talent as a passport catcher, as Drew Brees did.

And Payton’s prediction was correct. Winston got a lot of buzz in the first five drills of training camp – not because of his deep ball skills, but because he is constantly connecting with Kamara and others for timing throws and efficient checkdowns.

“Look, I get it,” Payton said. “It’s all part of the offense, and you want to see some of the features that may have made this offense work. And yet it will evolve and take on a bit of a new life of its own depending on who is playing the quarterback.

“But these two guys are obviously focused on being patient and really understanding what the defense is trying to take away and playing a bit more efficiently.”

In Kamara’s first four seasons, he caught 81, 81, 81 and 83 passes for an average of 706 yards a year – and led all NFL running backs in both categories over that time span.

However, Hill struggled to find a rhythm with Kamara during his four-game stint as the Saints starter last year while Brees was injured. In Hill’s first three starts, Kamara caught a total of three passes for seven yards on six targets. In the fourth game, they scored seven times for 44 yards, but Hill also threw an interception out of Kamara’s hands when Hill was hit trying to get rid of a screen pass.

And Winston’s story of throwing more high-risk, high-reward passes (88 career INTs) is well documented.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Winston never completed more than 89 passes for all of his running backs combined in any of his five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers – and that was during his rookie campaign in 2015. The only running back to have 53+ career receptions of Winston is Charles Sims, who has 98.

Rest assured, however, Winston has made it a top priority to use Kamara’s abilities.

“When you have a running back as talented as him, getting the ball to guys like him is a priority,” said Winston. “In my career I’ve had dominant pass catchers in the receiver position and in the tight-end position. I had great running backs, but not as dynamic as Alvin Kamara from the backcourt and in the slot position. “

Kamara laughed when asked if Winston had spoken to him about building her chemistry in passing.

“Me and Jameis talked a lot,” said Kamara. “He comes to me and says he wants to know now. Like, ‘How do you see that? How do you find that?’ I thought, ‘Yeah, we can do it. It’s all right. We still have a long way to go before we have to be perfect. ‘ He’s just eager to learn and that’s what I love about him.

“And Taysom, we’ve had a lot of these things, and he’s still like that. He tries to learn the little subtleties and just new tricks. And just try to get better – everyone does. “

It seems like a simple idea for both Saints quarterbacks to feed Kamara as much as possible. But Hill’s struggle to connect with Kamara last year (whether he wasn’t getting to him fast enough in the progressions or had the ideal timing on screens or checkdowns) served as a reminder of something Adrian Peterson once said during his brief stint at said the saints in 2017.

Peterson has never been a big pass catcher in his career, but he thought that would change when he joined Brees as he had his best seasons with Brett Favre in Minnesota.

“There are different quarterbacks who see the field differently,” said Peterson. “A lot of quarterbacks, when they go through their evolution, get stuck on one side of the apartment … They have guys like Favre and Drew Brees who are Hall of Famers for a reason.”

So it’s fair to expect a no-brees drop-off who has made more running back passes in the past five years than any quarterback in the NFL (547).

But the Saints will obviously make it a priority to use Kamara to the fullest. Above all, you have to expect receiver Michael Thomas, who will miss the time with an ankle injury at the start of the season.

The Saints will be counting on Kamara just as they did last season when he hit career highs with 932 rushing yards, 83 receptions and 21 touchdowns in 15 games.

Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. and quarterbacks coach Ronald Curry both said they weren’t trying to stop either quarterbacks from looking for big plays that would suit their games – like deep passes or Hill’s running ability.

However, the focus is on making faster, smarter decisions.

“Obviously you’re trying to get the ball to your playmakers and Alvin is one of the best in the position,” said Hill, who said Payton’s joke about the media celebrating check-down passes was “the first time that I heard that “. from a trainer. “

“Sometimes we make it so it’s # 1 read. But I think as a quarterback you can’t paralyze yourself if you have something downfield, ”Hill continued. “I think the focus is on making the right decision.”





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