Ryan Clark says Taysom Hill has a ‘Charles Barkley Turrible’ deep ball

By John Sigler

ESPN analyst and retired NFL safety Ryan Clark hasn’t had many great things to say about the New Orleans Saints, despite hailing from Marrero, La. and starring at LSU for a few years before turning pro. He’s been critical of the team and its performance, and when rewatching their surprising loss to the New York Giants he focused on one ugly element in particular: Taysom Hill’s deep ball, which he criticized with NBA legend Charles Barkley’s signature jeer.

Hill threw the only Saints interception of the game on a long pass to Deonte Harris, but he didn’t put enough power behind it and the ball fell short, allowing Giants corner James Bradberry to circle back and outmuscle Harris at the catch point. After the game, Sean Payton said that Hill’s plant foot caught in the turf as he threw, but that excuse doesn’t explain the part-time quarterback’s issues going deep throughout his NFL career.

Per Pro Football Focus, Hill is 7-for-14 on throws traveling 20-plus yards (gaining 264 yards) from 2018 to 2021, including 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Quite literally every pass he sends deep downfield is a 50/50 ball. He lacks the arm strength and clean mechanics to push the ball further so it can hit his receivers in stride.

As impressive he’s been in other roles, this is a glaring weakness in his skills set. They may get favorable looks from the defense when asking Hill to throw, but he just isn’t effective enough at it to make taking the ball from Jameis Winston worthwile.

With that said, Clark was complimentary of Hill’s other big moments — including his two “big boy” scoring runs to extend New Orleans’ lead. And he’s correctly pointed out that Hill is at his best when he isn’t the one throwing the ball. When will Payton catch on?


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