Taysom Hill had never blocked a punt in his life, but that all changed on Sunday when his play jump-started the Saints en route to 25-point straight points in their 28-14 Week 14 victory over the Buccaneers. The third quarter play wasn’t called as a block or pressure, as Sean Payton pointed out in his post game press conference.
“He’s willing to do anything and do it well,” Payton said.
The Saints would break a long drought of possessions without a touchdown in just 5 plays, as Zach Line would help get the game to 14-9. A two-point Alvin Kamara conversion made it 14-11, and New Orleans would never look back.
Hill said after the game that he recalls sitting on the bench next to special teams coach Mike Westhoff, who said that he’s been a part of football for a long time, and that this was the type of game where the special teams unit needed to make a big play to change momentum.
“It’s been a long time coming for sure, and it felt good to get back there and get one,” Hill said. He added that the Saints have had a few pressure opportunities where they’ve tried to get him loose to block one, and that the team was due.
“When you get to rush next to Alex Okafor, it makes your job really easy.” Hill added that there were a few looks that the team saw during the week where they were able to run a little game. Hill said that Okafor drew the wing and tackle, and that he got there pretty early.
“I felt like Coach Westhoff challenged both Alex Okafor and I this week because we got close last week against Dallas and didn’t come away with anything. He kind of challenged us this week. Alex and I had a few conversations about it and said okay, challenged accepted, it’s on.
Hill said by getting there so early that his only thought was not to miss the ball.