The former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback was skilled at multiple positions on the field.
With Neil O’Donnell entering the final year of his contract in 1995, the Pittsburgh Steelers decided to use their second-round pick in that year’s NFL Draft on former Colorado quarterback Kordell Stewart.
During his time at Colorado, Stewart displayed the ability to make impressive throws in the pocket as a passer and also use his legs to make plays with the ball in his hands. When he was added to Pittsburgh’s roster in 1995, the team knew they had to figure out how to get this incredible athlete out on the field even if he wasn’t going to be their starting quarterback.
So during his rookie season, Stewart was given opportunities to take snaps under center, carry the football out of the backfield, and line up as a receiver. It resulted in him accounting for three touchdowns and averaging 11.1 yards per touch during his first year with the Steelers.
Stewart spent the 1996 season in the same role for Pittsburgh, but this time he ended up making eight trips to the end zone after getting his hands on the ball twice as many times as he did during his rookie year. Finally, he won the job as the Steelers starting quarterback in 1997 and he went on to remain in the NFL until 2006.
There would be no Taysom Hill in the NFL without the former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback.
For the last two years, many people have been raving about how Taysom Hill of the New Orleans Saints is this new revolutionary player who can line up anywhere on the field and play well at any position. Did these people just forget about anything Stewart did during the early part of his pro career with Pittsburgh?
Stewart’s time in the league did begin more than 20 years ago, so maybe a lot of these people slobbering all over Hill just aren’t old enough to remember what “Slash” was able to do when he put on the black and gold.
Not only was Stewart a better passer than what Hill has shown so far with the Saints, but the former member of the Steelers averaged more yards per touch as well.
Hill has found a unique role with New Orleans, but he’s far from being the first player in the NFL to ever line up at multiple positions in a single season. If not for Stewart proving that the “Slash” role can be used effectively during the mid-90s, there’s a good chance that Hill wouldn’t even have a job in the league right now.