Out on the practice field watching his defense compete against the New Orleans Saints last August, the breath-taking speed of Taysom Hill caught the attention of Los Angeles Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley.
During joint practices and a preseason game against the Saints, Bradley and the Chargers got an up-close look at the versatility of a do-everything backup quarterback.
“You rarely see a guy that size with that type of speed,” Bradley said. “Sometimes you see speed and you go, ‘Well, he’s going to play wide receiver.’ But because of his size, he can play multiple positions.”cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale
Hill ran for an 11-yard touchdown, threw to Tre’Quan Smith for a 5-yard score and also converted a fake punt for a first down in a 33-7 exhibition win over the Chargers.
Wanting to add a similar athlete to an already-explosive offense, the Chargers selected North Dakota State quarterback Easton Stick in the fifth-round of this year’s draft.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers sought the same type of impact player in undrafted rookie Nick Fitzgerald out of Mississippi State, while the New York Giants signed Syracuse undrafted rookie quarterback Eric Dungey with the same purpose.
The Baltimore Ravens drafted Trace McSorley in the sixth round to back up athletic signal-caller Lamar Jackson.
“You saw what the Saints have done down there with their third quarterback,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said about McSorley. “That’s something we’ll have a chance to do, too, with Trace. He’s going to be able to play special teams as well. The more you can do. You want players with roles, and he’s a guy that has a chance to have a big role for us.”
Stick’s role on Chargersnike nfl jerseys cheap china
With Philip Rivers nearing the end of tenure as the team’s starting quarterback, Stick could be viewed as his eventual replacement: Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt likes the fact that Stick operated in a conventional offense at North Dakota State, taking snaps under center and using the play-action game, along with the spread concepts normally seen in the collegiate game.
However, Stick also totaled 2,523 rushing yards and 41 rushing touchdowns as a dual-threat quarterback for the Bison.
“I have the ability to run around and make plays outside of structure, try to be a good athlete and make different plays,” Stick said. “I feel like I can do a little bit of everything. Really, I’m just excited to be in that quarterback room and get an opportunity to learn.”
Chargers coach Anthony Lynn is intimately familiar with using a running quarterback effectively on offense. While serving as the offensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills in 2016 under the direction of current Bolts’ backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, Lynn’s unit led the league in rushing offense. Taylor contributed 580 yards and averaged 6.1 yards per carry with six rushing scores.