The 2014 season is a very important year for Stephen Hill. He will be entering his 3rd year as a pro, and he needs this next season to go much better then the previous two have gone. If it doesn’t it could mean the end of Stephen Hill in the green and white. I’m going to go over some plays that the Jets would love to get from Stephen Hill on a much more consistent basis.
In this play the Jets are lining up in a 3-receiver set. Stephen Hill is lined up in the Z position (highlighted player) where he will be running a Post Corner route. This route is very effective in man coverage, and if ran correctly Hill, should be able to have his defender bite on the post route, then head towards the sideline, where Smith should have an easy throw to make.
As you can see Hill ran the route to perfection, he got both the corner and safety to bite on the post, and now all Smith needs to do is make the throw, and the Jets will have a huge gain.
Smith makes the throw, and now it’s off to the races. Hill will get pushed out at the Buffalo’s 32-yard line. (45yd gain) Yes, speed is important, but at the NFL level, your going to need to run your route with precision. The Jets would love to see this more often from Hill.
This is a big part of the football game. The Jets are trying to get into to field goal range, they have 0 timeouts and only 11 seconds to get it done before the half. The middle of the field is taken away because of this situation, so the Jets are looking for a play toward the sideline that will allow them to gain yards and stop the clock.
The Steelers were running man- man coverage across the field, but it was actually a trap defense. They wanted to bait Smith into throwing the ball to Kerley toward the sideline. The corner that was defending Hill goes to help out on Kerley, leaving Hill open down the sideline.
Smith makes the correct read and throws the ball to Hill down the sideline. Troy Polamalu comes crashing in like a run away train, and lays a devastating hit on Hill. He is able to maintain the catch, and also get a foot and forearm down. Hill displays tremendous toughness on this play, which helps the Jet score 3 points before the half.
Stephen Hill has been blessed with the size and speed to be a deep threat in the NFL, and on this play we see it. Hill is once again lined up in the Z position, where he will be running a 9 route. Hill is matched up against the Bills number 3 corner in Justin Rogers. The Jets are looking to take a shot deep.
Hill gets passed Rogers with pure speed and a little bit of hand checking. Smith delivers a perfect throw to Hill, and then it’s off to pay dirt. When the Jets drafted Hill they thought they would see this more. Unfortunately it hasn’t.
I don’t believe they want to give up on him in only his 3rd year, but Hill is going to have to show a lot more of the plays I discussed today, or else he will go down as another one of the Jets draft mishaps.
(All Images credited to NFL Game Rewind)