As the Saints come to town with Drew Brees sidelined, they still have Teddy Bridgewater and multi-tool quarterback Taysom Hill, and coach Sean Payton smartly is not letting on about how he is going to use them.
As Pete Carroll said, “I don’t know what Sean is going to do. Rarely does anybody know what he’s going to do when it comes to game time.”
In his two-plus seasons with the Saints, Hill has played all over the place: QB, tight end, receiver, running back, special teams. He’s a wild card the Seahawks will have to watch out for. But how much QB will he play?
“We have not seen enough of Hill to know how they would play him in this kind of situation,” Carroll said. “He’s been spotted in and out and they’ve done a lot of cool things.”
The visit by Hill and the Saints brings up a concept we have long wondered about: What could a two-QB offense do in the NFL? Not two rotating QBs, but two on the field together for most of the game.
Bill Cowher’s 1990s Steelers had Kordell “Slash” Stewart, who played a Hill-style role before he became the starting QB. Hue Jackson did some funky stuff with the Bengals’ offense in 2014-16, splitting his linemen and tight ends into three clusters — an old formation called the Emory & Henry. But he still used just one quarterback (Andy Dalton).
What if a team used two QBs in a modified Emory & Henry — a Double Quads split that set up three blockers and a receiver on each side and another receiver or running back in the backfield, next to one of the quarterbacks? If a franchise actually planned for this, adding two mobile quarterbacks, it could create incredible headaches for defenses.
The Emory & Henry formation already gives the quarterback four potential play options — a screen pass to either side, handoff or option keeper. But with the Double Quads offense, a team could set up a “trick play” on every snap, predicated on the option of lateral passes to the second quarterback, who could then throw short or deep or run the ball. Any snap could result in as many as eight or nine plays.
It’s definitely a screen-style concept, using receivers and backs, but with the designed option to run the ball with pulling blockers and use unique play action to set up deeper throws.
Plenty of teams have used two passers on the field at once but not typically in this kind of Double Quads setup. It would be fun to watch what happened.
Of course, the Hawks don’t have to worry about anything that exotic from Payton & Co. this week. But they will have to keep an eye on Hill.