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What is the Deal with Stephen Hill?

What is the Deal with Stephen Hill?

Stephen Hill.  Just saying the name of the New York Jets WR will bring out two different emotions from Jets fans.  The first is of disgust and frustration and the second is of hope and faith.  When the Jets selected Stephen Hill with the 43rd pick in the 2012 draft, there was great optimism and hope.    Sure he came from a run first offense that required the receivers to block more than catch, but there was the thought that Stephen Hill could be a great science project for then offensive coordinator, Tony Sparano.

The Jets haven’t had a legit number one receiver from some time and Hill was supposed to be that guy who would help then QB Mark Sanchez up his game.

I remember Hill struggled a bit in pre-season his rookie year and after the first game of his career, I dubbed him the “Real Deal” in this article.  I went as far as to call him a legitimate #1 receiver.  I’ll wait until you are done wiping the tears from your eyes.

Hill Talks about his Current Status Heading into OTAs

Stephen Hill - Jets Twit

Quote One:  “I’ve been working hard this offseason — working hard to make sure I stay healthy, getting my legs stronger, squatting more than I have in two years now,” Hill told Metro New York. “It’s getting better. (I’m) just happy to be back here, getting back to OTAs.”

Quote Two:  “Basically it’s just a learning curve. Learning, you know, during my rookie season, having so much on my plate. I really didn’t know much,” Hill told Metro New York. “Last year, the learning curve, it helped me out a lot. Being out here especially with (offensive coordinator) Marty Mornhinweg and (wide receivers) coach Sanjay (Lal), they stay on me like two mad dogs.”

Quote Three: “I can’t play like Eric Decker, I can only play like Stephen Hill.”

We Talk Hill on the Latest Episode of the Jets Twit Podcast

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I still Want Hill to Succeed

Fans that have been following me for a while know that I’ve been in Hill’s court from the day he was drafted.  I almost bought his Jersey after that first game, but thought better of it.  Hill says all the right things, has a great attitude and really looks the part.  He just can’t put it together on the field which obviously ultimately makes him worthy of wearing the green and white, YET.

 

I think I’m in the minority by hoping that Hill pulls it together this season.  I truly believe that he can be a legitimate player for the Jets.  I typically won’t call any player in the NFL a bust until the failure of their first THREE seasons.  By my book this is IT for Hill.  He’s got to put up, or I’ll have to join the majority of fans who want him cut from the team today.

I still can’t believe fans are quick to put Hill in the trash.  I guess I’m a little more patient than most, but I’ve always heard that typically it takes WR’s in the NFL 3 seasons for the game to slow down for them.  I know there are some receivers like Fitzgerald and Megatron who hit the ground running but I call them the exception not the rule.

Remember, Hill is a second round draft pick who was selected to play for an offense that did not play to his strengths.  I excuse his first year because he was a rookie, and he was injured for his sophomore season.  There will be no excuses this year if Hill can’t produce.  I said it once and I’ll say it again though, I’m rooting for this kid and I really hope he proves his doubters wrong.

Tough Competition

Hill will have his work cut out for him.  With a loaded WR Corp, the competition is going to be one of the best this off season.    I have seen some pundits projecting Hill to be the #2 WR behind newly acquired Eric Decker, and ahead of Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson and a slew of Rookie receivers from the draft.  Don’t forget about Jacoby Ford as well.

There have been reports that management is putting Hill on a short leash and will have little to know tolerance if the 3rd year receiver slips.  That may be true, but I think Hill will go out swinging if he gets demoted or cut.  It’s not from a lack of effort that Hill can’t put it together, but more a mental game.

With his speed, height, and strength, this guy looks the part and wearing the #84 reminds me a little of the second coming of Randy Moss.  Now wipe the tears from your eyes again, and let’s hope Stephen can improve this year.

So what camp are you in concerning Stephen Hill?  Are you in his camp, or do you want the Jets to cut ties with him sooner than later?

  • dippy

    I think fans that bash Hill are completely clueless. The Jets system is a graveyard for players and the last two years it has been no better.

  • redonohue

    Um, we’re not responsible for where our love lands, at first, but we’re totally accountable for our choices after it goes sour. Oh, and consider picking up a book titled, “You Are Now Less Dumb” by David McRaney; it proposes that we all tailor our narratives to suit what we wish to be and never what the actual facts suggest. You’re wrong, but you’re not alone. The rest of us are as well. Go Jets!

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