Saints Chargers Football

New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill runs during the second half of a preseason NFL football game against the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019, in Carson, Calif.

Throughout the NFL season, we’ll check in with former Idaho State football players and other notable locals currently in the NFL. Here’s an update after the second week of the preseason.

Taysom Hill (Highland HS) — BYU, New Orleans Saints

Pocatello native Taysom Hill was the star of the New Orleans Saints’ come-from-behind victory Sunday at the Los Angeles Chargers.

The former BYU quarterback and third-year NFL pro completed 11 of 15 passes while leading the Saints on three second-half scoring drives en route to a 19-17 win. New Orleans trailed 17-3 at halftime.

Hill tossed two touchdown passes and had no interceptions, good for a quarterback rating of 140.6. He also led the team in rushing with 53 yards on five carries, including a game-best 23-yard scamper.

For good measure, Hill added a tackle on special teams.

“For three quarters I thought it was pretty complementary football. Then Taysom Hill took it over and they completely outplayed us,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn told the Associated Press.

Hill was also the centerpiece of ESPN.com on Monday morning, leading the site’s preseason Week 2 takeaways article by being mentioned in the following headline: “Is Taysom Hill becoming Drew Brees’ heir apparent?”

Fellow backup Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 5 of 12 passes for 40 yards Sunday, with no touchdowns and one interception. That sparked the conversation around Hill potentially overtaking the veteran signalcaller as the team’s No. 2 quarterback.

“I’m not ready to call the Saints’ backup QB job an open competition. ... But it was a disappointing showcase for Bridgewater before he becomes a free agent next year,” wrote ESPN’s Mike Triplett. “Sunday’s game made you wonder a bit whether Bridgewater or Taysom Hill is a better bet to become Drew Brees’ long-term successor.”

In two preseason games, Hill has completed 19 of 29 passes (65.5%), for 216 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He has also rushed 11 times for a team-best 98 yards and has recorded one tackle.

The Saints (1-1 preseason) play Saturday at the New York Jets.

Josh Hill — Idaho State (2009-12), New Orleans Saints

Former ISU tight end Josh Hill did not record a reception during Sunday’s preseason game, a 19-17 New Orleans Saints win at the Los Angeles Chargers.

The Blackfoot native was targeted once. He led the team’s tight ends by playing 20 offensive snaps. Hill has not recorded a reception through two preseason games.

The Saints (1-1 preseason) play Saturday at the New York Jets.

Brian Fineanganofo — Idaho State (2014-18), Cleveland Browns

Former ISU offensive lineman Brian Fineanganofo helped the Cleveland Browns improve to 2-0 this preseason.

The undrafted rookie played 10 snaps on offense and five snaps on special teams during the Browns’ 21-18 win Saturday at Indianapolis. His 10 offensive snaps ranked sixth among the team’s offensive tackles. He is currently listed as a third-string right tackle on the team’s depth chart.

Cleveland (2-0 preseason) plays Friday at Tampa Bay.

Dirk Koetter — Idaho State (1977, 79-81), Atlanta Falcons

Dirk Koetter and the Atlanta Falcons fell to 0-3 this preseason after Thursday’s 22-10 home loss to the New York Jets.

The first-year Falcons offensive coordinator and ISU alumnus helped Atlanta lead 10-7 at halftime. But New York shut the Falcons out in the second half to earn the win, despite being out-gained 340-199 on offense. Penalties proved costly for the Falcons, who were flagged 12 times for 118 yards. It was Atlanta’s 11th consecutive preseason loss.

The Falcons (0-3 preseason) host Washington on Thursday.