Open Letter to Jets WR Stephen Hill

Dear Stephen Hill,

I was incredibly excited about your potential when the Jets moved up and drafted you with 43rd overall selection in the 2012 draft. I remember gawking at your college highlights from Georgia Tech, the same school Lions receiver Calvin Johnson went to, thinking one day you might be just as productive. You had great size standing at 6 foot 4 and blazing fast speed which you showed in the 40 yard dash at the combine when you ran in the 4.3′s. Analysts said you were raw, and would need to improve in a lot of areas to be an effective receiver at the next level, but the Jets, like many, were too smitten with your measurable statistics.

I personally was excited to potentially see you grow into the next Megatron, I even had your Decepticon name picked out. You were to be Starscream (after all Starscream transforms into a Jet), Megatrons second in command constantly pining for the throne. In your first game ever you blew up with 5 receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns. You showed your deep threat ability on the first TD, and your incredible speed in the second on a crossing route where you made the second effort to stay in bounds while diving into the end-zone.

Fast forward to now and I am sad to say you have not earned your Decepticon nickname, as a matter of fact you haven’t even earned a starting spot in the Jets roster that is known to all as having a lack of wide receiver talent. You struggled with ball security, getting off press coverage, and worst of all you struggle catching the ball. You rarely used the size you possess to gain position and advantage on passes thrown your way, and we haven’t seen your speed translate consistently on the NFL field.

Now I am worried you might never even become a decent wide receiver in this league, and your roster spot might be in jeopardy going forward unless you make big strides this off season. So I ask of you Mr Hill, hit this off season hard and with a vengeance. Dedicate yourself to mastering your craft and never be too far away from a JUGS machine, fight for your roster spot and prove to Jet fans that the Jets didn’t make a mistake when trading away lower draft picks to draft you while Alshon Jeffrey ( who is now coming into his own as a top receiver in the NFL) was still on the board. In other words, please become our Starscream.

 

Topics: New York Jets, Stephen Hill

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  • Paul Newbold

    I can understand your disappointment in Hill’s development. But an open letter of criticism seems quite unfair, in my opinion. You say you gawked at his “ability” at Georgia Tech? Exactly what did you see, besides his speed? Hill came from a program where he basically was a blocking receiver with VERY little route running experience and even less receiving experience. Check his stats at Georgia Tech. The Jets fell in love with his speed and the POTENTIAL they saw for him. Many “experts” thought the pick a stretch at the second round at the time. The fact is the Jets gambled they could get the same results from Hill that Detroit got from Johnson. The young man has struggled with injuries since arriving, and the Jets surely haven’t provided him with any complimentary receivers along the way. He’s been called upon to learn NFL routes, adjust to now two different systems, and a pair of lack luster quarterbacks. The criticism is unfair, and I’d hope you would rescind the “open letter”. I don’t know if Hill will ever be the “StarScream” you dreamed of, or even a top wide receiver in this league. By all accounts Hill has worked hard to learn what the Jets have asked him to, he’s struggled through adversity, and has “played like a Jet”. He’s kept his nose out of trouble and hasn’t shamed the Jet organization as many of the players on this roster have. Honestly this letter appears to me to be a cheap shot from a cheap hack. Sorry your dreams were broken, but this young man deserves better!!

  • Ioanny Dimov

    Hi Paul, no cheap shots here, I honestly am a fan of Stephen Hill and I hope he does turn into a formidable receiver in this league. However, he has played his way out of his starting spot, and until he gets back on the field this cannot happen. I agree with you about the quarterback play and the change of offensive coordinators, that is enough to stunt the growth of a young receiver, but I never saw him as the route runner type, I saw him as down field threat, a guy who might one day demand double coverage, opening up other receivers on the field. Furthermore you are right about what he was coming out of Georgia Tech, he didn’t have flashy stats, but the one that caught my eye was the 17 yards per catch average his last year there, which was one of the reasons I believed him to be that big down field threat. At the end of the day I want this young athlete to succeed, as I do with every player on the Jets roster, and I still feel he can achieve that one day. My critiques are what they are, but I don’t want to bash him or put him down, I want him to rise up.

  • Alejandro12many

    As a Jets fan living in Denver I wanted to chime in on a few notes about Stephen Hill.

    He is very raw but I believe he has the physical tools to succeed in the NFL just like his Ga Tech predecessors. If history were to repeat itself, Hill could have a breakout season like one of the new elite WRs in the NFL Demarius Thomas. I remember when Thomas came out of college and was drafted by McDaniels. I’ll give the former HC a ton of credit, because Thomas carried the same criticism as Hill and was a larger gamble with a 1st round tender (not the 2nd like Hill). During his first two seasons, Thomas battled injuries, bad route running, and a case of the drops just like his counterpart. It was in his third season that Thomas started to blossom (including the 80 yard skinny post from Tebow). From time to time, Thomas drops a ball, but he has polished his game. If you are fully optimistic, it would be great to have Hill become the next DT. However, I would say his struggles remind me of another Bronco (well former) in Rod Smith. Prior to the Super Bowl runs, I can remember a few key drops by Rod in crucial games. I remember swearing at my television during the Pittsburgh game years ago (the ball bounced off of his chest). Rod eventually emerged to be a great WR for Elway, Griese, and Plummer. I’ll never forget the one handed grab in Kansas City. My point is, I believe it is a little early to cut the cord on Stephen Hill. I’m hoping his lightning in a bottle talents can be a part of the Jets offensive campaign. His lack of production is a sure result of QBs just not trusting him to haul in the ball. Ultimately it lays in his hands (literally in figuratively speaking) to re-instill trust in the QBs and fanbase.

    Cheers to a strong third year Mr Hill.

    Signed with unconditional support

    Mr Mile High Jet Fan.

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