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The Role of Stephen Hill in 2012

By Alan Schechter

May 4, 2012; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill (84) catches ball during minicamp at the Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jim O

The Jets were an interesting offense to watch in 2011. It had some good days, and some really bad days. You can attribute a lot of it, maybe, to coach Schottenheimer, whom we’ve eliminated. What was one thing that the Jets lacked in 2011? The big play. Last season, the Jets had less plays for over 20 yards than Braylon Edwards was responsible for in 2010.

In walks Stephen Hill. He ran a 4.36 second time in the 40 yard dash. He’s got speed. Combine that with a 6’4″ 215 pound frame, and you have a guy that is like a younger, faster, Plaxico Burress.

He has caught everything so far in minicamp. So far he has looked like the steal of the draft, but let’s wait and see how he does against Darrelle Revis and company come training camp. That will be our real barometer as to where exactly Hill is.

Hill’s role in 2012? Well, if you ask Rex, he will be a starter, but I still think that remains to be seen. There has been a lot of talk about Hill’s route running. That will be the determining factor in 2012.

Hill has the potential to be a special talent. He also, if not handled correctly, could be Johnny “Lam” Jones. Any Jets fans from the eighties know that would be an absolute disaster.

He will make a big contribution in 2012. No doubt. What they aren’t going to do is weigh Hill down with too much too fast. He may start out as a guy coming in on passing downs as a 3rd wide receiver, while working his way in as a starter.

His major threat will be in the vertical game. For “ground and pound” to work, there has to be a threat to stretch the field, otherwise, the defense will pinch in and stop the running game. Hill will be a threat down the field, and a major key as to whether the “ground and pound” attack makes a resurgence.