Football

Idaho native lines up at quarterback, helping New Orleans Saints score on read option

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill looks for a receiver against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL preseason game Aug. 9, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill looks for a receiver against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL preseason game Aug. 9, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Associated Press

Throughout his football career, quarterback Taysom Hill has always been dangerous on his feet.

That dual-threat potential helped get the Highland High graduate his first NFL regular-season snap behind center in the New Orleans Saints’ season opener on Sunday.

On third-and-2 from the Tampa Bay 5-yard line on the Saints’ opening drive, Hill lined up at quarterback while starter Drew Brees split out at receiver.

Hill then handed off to running back Alvin Kamara on the read option, and Kamara took it in for the Saints’ first score in an eventual 48-40 loss.

“We had our opening series scripted,” Saints coach Sean Payton said in a post-game press conference. “That went smooth.”

Hill, who is in his second season as a pro out of BYU, has contributed primarily on special teams. He could find his way onto the field more often if he continues to make plays like the one Sunday.

Eagles coach calls Ajayi ‘workhorse’

Philadelphia coach Doug Pederson revealed his plan for running back Jay Ajayi after the Eagles’ 18-12 victory over Atlanta last Thursday.

Ajayi, who is reportedly recovering from a foot injury, didn’t start and was limited to just three carries in the first half, but he came unleashed after halftime.

The former Boise State standout finished with 15 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 2:19 remaining.

“Jay to us is kind of the workhorse, the guy that is going to, between the tackles, he’s going to pound it through there,” Pederson told ESPN’s Tim McManus. “He’s a tough, physical, big guy that really took off in the second half.”

Vander Esch sees first regular-season action

Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker Leighton Vander Esch made his NFL regular-season debut Sunday in an 16-8 loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Vander Esch, a former star at Salmon River High and Boise State, contributed three tackles off the bench, including two solo.

He recorded his first ever regular-season tackle with 7:07 to play in the second quarter.

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