After a disappointing rookie season, New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill is looking forward to starting fresh and 100% healthy.
“Everything health wise is 100 percent,” Hill told ESPN. “Looking forward to just learning a lot this year, a lot more. Last year was a great learning experience but definitely looking forward to this year.”
Hill’s season ending knee surgery left him with a stat line of 21 catches for 252 yards and three touchdowns.
After his breakout first game in the Jets’ romp over the Buffalo Bills in week one where he had a five-catch, 89-yard, two-touchdown performance, Hill was never really able to settle in and become the weapon for embattled quarterback Mark Sanchez that he was supposed to be.
Hill, standing at 6’4″, has tremendous size and athleticism, to go along with top notch speed, running the 40-yard-dash in 4.3 seconds. It wasn’t his physicality that hurt him last year; it was his ability to catch the football, often dropping passes in critical moments of the season.
“I really don’t even think about the performance last year,” Hill said. “I know I just have to get better ever year. You’re going to have flaws, faults and things like that. I’m just ready to just get this stuff started.”
What’s interesting is that the Jets did not draft a wideout this year which indicates that they are very confident that Santonio Holmes, Hill, and Jeremy Kerley can get the job done for whoever the quarterback may be. Hill said he’s excited for the opportunity to prove that he can be the outside threat that the Jets drafted him to be, but he believes he needs to step up his game after getting a year under his belt. It will also be interesting to see how Hill plays under new offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and his offensive system.
There is no question that Hill must step up, and if he does it should be very interesting to watch. If he doesn’t, the only thing that will be interesting is who the Jets will try to trade for or try to draft next year. There might have been a reason why the Jets were looking at Tavon Austin so closely; Hill should be mindful of that.