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New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) throws the ball prior to an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017, in London. (NFL Photos via AP)
Saints rookie Taysom Hill, a third-string quarterback out of Brigham Young, was active for the first time this season against the Panthers on Sunday and made his NFL debut _ on special teams.
Saints coach Sean Payton said he figured that Hill, who 6-foot-2, 221 pounds and runs well, could be a good fit in that role.
"We were looking at the inactive portion of the roster and you get over to that list and say, 'All right, who can help us in the kicking game?" Saiints coach Sean Payton recalled.
The decision yielded results.
By the third quarter, the 6-foot-2, 221-pound Hill had two special teams tackles while covering kickoffs and also nearly blocked a punt.
New Orleans Saints quarterback and special teams player Taysom Hill (7) runs down the field during kickoff in the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers in New Orleans, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
Hill, who was at BYU from 2012 to 2016 (including a medical redshirt in 2015), was a starter in 2013 and 2016.
Last season he passed for 2,323 yards and 12 TDs for the Cougars.
He began his career as an undrafted rookie with Green Bay, and the Packers reportedly intended to place Hill on their practice squad after waiving him at the end of preseason.
The Saints, however, claimed Hill off of waivers, making him a third-string QB behind Drew Brees and Chase Daniel.
Brees sounded impressed by Hill's effort.
"I love it. What a stud," Brees said. "It's not every day you say, 'Hey quarterback who's never played special teams — ever. We're going to have you play in an NFL game and run down on kickoffs and rushing punts and tackling people.'"