Can Stephen Hill Become a Better Receiver for New York Jets in 2013?

By Nick Mamary
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

This struggle for power between New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan and management apparently began last year. During 2012’s NFL Draft New York selected wide receiver Stephen Hill in the second round. When evaluating his skill set one notices tremendous size and speed. You would think that these traits equal a dynamic playmaker. According to an article from Sports Illustrated published in 2012, Hill did not represent his coach’s ideal selection. Ryan says “Well, nothing told me he would (contribute). Nothing. When I saw the tape (of his collegiate play) I was concerned.” Of course then general manger Mike Tannenbaum proceeded in making the pick regardless of his coach’s feelings.

As it also explains later in the story, Hill runs a 4.2 40-yard dash which demonstrates just how fast he truly is. Even looking back at his history there are some red flags in regards to playing style. Hill’s Georgia Tech team runs a triple option based offensive scheme that relies heavily on blocking. Therefore receivers obviously spend much less time running routes and polishing their catching technique. During his three years in college Hill accounted for 49 receptions with nine touchdowns. Last season, which of course was his first as a Jet, he caught 21 passes and three touchdowns. Five games were missed due to injury, though, so maybe numbers can get better with more time.

The installation of offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg will also hopefully provide more opportunities. Drops continue to worry as Hill failed to finish several passes during 2012. A report from the New York Daily News shows that this player believes in himself. “I’ve always had the physical tools,” he said. “I just needed to make sure I understand what’s going on out there on the field and that’s definitely been a plus for me this year.”  An adjustment working with rookie quarterback Geno Smith instead of Mark Sanchez may bring out better ability. I continue in doubting his chances of becoming a reliable receiving threat.

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