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Hill, Rookie Class Already Hard at Work at Minicamp

Posted by Randy Lange on May 4, 2012 – 2:58 pm

Stephen Hill continues to impress. First, he confirmed he signed his rookie contract on Thursday, the day that the Jets’ rookie class reported to get their physicals, get photographed and get prepared for today’s start of minicamp.

Stephen, you seem to be the kind of guy who likes to get business taken care of and get out on the field.

“Yes, sir, definitely,” he replied.

And sure enough, No. 84 was the first player who jogged out onto the practice field, past the Victory Tree, at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center, all alone in the May drizzle but joined minutes later by the rest of the 57 or so draft picks, undrafted free agents, tryout candidates and first-year invited players for the first workout of minicamp.

“Yeah, I like to be the first one out there and get my body prepared for the hard work,” he said.

Hill’s hard work for the day looked solid. On the comeback and slant route drills, Hill caught the hot passes often delivered by WRs coach Sanjay Lal and took off upfield. On a 7-on-7 drill, rookie G.J. Kinne’s pass deflected off of two defenders — and Hill was there to snap the ball up for the offense right before it hit the ground.

The 6’4″, 215-pound second-rounder from Georgia Tech appeared to drop one low ball, and he couldn’t quite catch up to a deep sideline pass. But otherwise he looked at home — especially as he worked through some of the pro routes that many seem concerned to see him master after he spent three seasons in Tech’s triple-option offense.

“Yeah, I can run all the routes,” Hill said. “You take a little time before you actually master them. Repetition is definitely what it is.”

He admitted to “drooling a little” when he got into his playbook and saw the routes that might free him up for, oh, about 50 receptions as a pro, or one more than he had in his three college seasons combined. How did he bide his time waiting for his one or two balls a game for the Yellow Jackets? His answer provided a greenprint for any player who ever thinks about being impatient or depressed with his career path.

“Basically, I’m a winner,” Hill said. “Anytime you win, it’s the biggest thing. If Coach called my number, I’d be there for him.”

As Hill spoke with reporters, it was hard not to notice the one short blade of grass still sticking to his left cheek. Nice touch for a hard-working wideout.

Rookie Quotes

First-round DE Quinton Coples on how he fits into the Jets’ defensive scheme so far: “I feel like I fit in great.” … When tryout WR Kris Byrd from Virginia made a one-handed grab below his knees of a pass thrown by Lal during slant drills, Lal responded: “Nice catch. Way to overcome coaching.”

Robert T. Griffin, like all the draft choices, had a number of footballs to autograph on Thursday night. He was signing “Robert Griffin” when about halfway through he said, “This is a little tiring,” and shifted to signing the balls “RGII,” which was his nickname as part of the offense that protected RGIII, Robert Griffin III, at Baylor. “I was called different things — ‘Big Grif,’ ‘RGII,’ Robert. It was all good,” Griffin said. “I’m just out to make a name for myself. That’s what life’s all about.”

Rex Ryan is expected to address reporters at 3 p.m. ET today. … The assembled players will have a walkthrough late this afternoon. Then they’ll repeat today’s schedule Saturday at the Atlantic Health complex.


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Posted in Randy Lange | 40 Comments »


40 Responses to “Hill, Rookie Class Already Hard at Work at Minicamp”

  1. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    What did I tell ya? From Cimini: “Been hearing a lot of talk the last two weeks about Tony Sparano’s loud, no-nonsense coaching style. The new offensive coordinator makes his debut in the rookie camp, and I have a feeling it’s going to be night and day from Brian Schottenheimer.”

  2. By IRA on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Its only a baby step but Hill seems to be a keeper. Love the kids smile after he was drafted and now he is the first on the field. I think this kid is going to work his you know what off and the Jets will have themselves a very good WR.
    GO JETS!!!!

  3. By jake on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    can you post the entire mini camp roster please

  4. By oasus on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Tom, that means there’s no more room for excuses. Players WILL be accountable for their actions (on offense at least, which is where accountability is needed the most atm).

  5. By Jason on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Denario will be a star, Hill could be a star, and Coples needs to be a star. I just worry about that O-line…

  6. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    oasus, Rex is as good as anybody in Florham Park at making excuses, so I hope you’re right. One of the reasons I think Sparano was hired with an eye toward succeeding Rex, maybe as interim HC and maybe as full-time HC, is because he seems much more about action and much less about talk than Rex. And Rex shoulda learned by now that talk like his remark today about not getting excited about drafting a WR just makes him sound even more fossilized. He still doesn’t understand that this is a real job, not a reality show. Try picturing any other great HC in the league saying anything as stupid and pointless as that just to get a chuckle out of the press guys. Strictly amateur night.

  7. By Tom Spicer on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I think this kid Hill is going to play like a young version of another 84 I used to know without the off field issues & his name is Randy Moss

  8. By scjoe on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    Right oasus, no room for excuses at the QB position as well. We heard for three full seasons how everything was the fault of the OC. Now we shall see. Stay tuned!

  9. By By Jet Fan Since 1964 Frank on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I feel we made several good picks in the draft. Mini camp may turn up several offensive surprises. Like Jake I would like to see the entire mini camp roster and see who some of the undrafted and invited players are that were not picked in thwe draft.

  10. By By Jet Fan Since 1964 Frank on May 4, 2012 | Reply

    I wonder if we should goto Japan and get some Sumo wrestlers for the offensive line… (lol).

  11. By joe on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    FANTASTIC (in typical JET FASHION)) ROOKIES (5 seconds into their careers )are telling us that they are winners and fit in great.(DID SOMEONE SAY REX RYAN) The JETS ALWAYS WIN THE SUPERBOWL IN PRESEASON when the seasons over its A DIFFENT STORY.

  12. By joe on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    LOL BETWEEN ALL THE ROOKIE WINNERS and free agent pickups (TEBOW )WE GOT TO BE A LOCK FOR THE SB THIS YEAR.

  13. By GaryC on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    At least wait until the jets lose their first preseason game before stating the season is going to be a disaster,what are you worried about, Hunter will not be the opening day tackle,doesn’t fit Rex’s knew approach to speed and athleticism throughout the team,same goes for guys like smith,scott,thomas.Rex will do what burgess meredith did to sly stallone,stick them in a ring and catch a rooster before they make the starting lineup.

  14. By givemeglenn on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    I’m in Atlanta; a GA Tech “guy,” whose been following Stephen and just joined the Jets forums. The describe behavior is typical of his actions from college since Demaryous Thomas took him under his wing when he was about to leave the team, and carried over to draft day. Stephen wants to excel at the pro level, and is taking this opportunity very seriously; it’s his career and he has continued to seek out his mentors, Calvin Johnson and Demaryous Thomas even this spring for workouts prior to camp, so he could continue to stay in shape and work on his pro routes. Also, anyone who has listened to Stephen speak hears an articulate, intelligent, young man.

  15. By givemeglenn on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    I wanted to add for those who didn’t know that GA Tech has the highest entrance requirements for all football players in the country, and they are required to take the same classes as every other student on campus; there aren’t any “easy” majors. What I’m trying to say is that Stephen is also intelligent enough, in my humble opinion, that he’ll be able to pick up your playbook rather quickly.

  16. By IRA on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    Jason,
    No need to worry as long as they stay healthy and a piece gets added they will be fine. They will not fall into the same trap they fell into last year. Callahan is one of the best OL coaches out there and he couldn’t get it done. Mangold played hurt all year after that ankle injury, Moore had a good year but the hip was a pain. Slauson played with a bum shoulder and most important the starting unit really didn’t get much work together during summer camp. Ths year will be different.
    Hey if they get Davis to be half the player that Lewis is they hit a homerun with that pick
    GO JETS!!!!

  17. By scjoe on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    Spicer, Ira, 64, without coming off as negative, which seems to be a “key word” here. Exactly what do you base your opinion on when raving about Hill? It can’t be his college production, because he had none! Aside from his size and speed, (which you all should know, means very little, based on history) what is it? I know it can’t be his first few days in non contact mini camp, so what then? Potential? Campbell had potential, Clowney and Allison had potential AND speed.How did they work out? What do you see in Hill that separates him from the others, including Schliens 64?

  18. By GaryC on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe,when you watch a player in his college career the word is you get a glimpse of what he can do,based on the help of teammates when he gets to the pro level it can be more of a glimpse,he played for a team at georgia tech who had other ideas on how to run their offense which not neccesarily brings out Hills best,only a glimpse.that is why teams take chances with top flight athletes,they figure they can get more out of him with pro coaching.You need to have the clay before you can start to mold it.

  19. By By Jet Fan Since 1964 Frank on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    After looking at the mini-camp roster, there are some big young offensive players trying out. Might get a couple of surprises…

  20. By scjoe on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    GaryC, do you mean like in the case of Vernon Gholston?

  21. By By Jet Fan Since 1964 Frank on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    Brandon Bostick could be a surprise at TE, Dennis Landoft, Robert Griffin and Kyle Nunn may also be surprises all offensive lineman..

  22. By GaryC on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe, I guess you prefer just bringing in broken down relics like burress and mason because they had some success in the nfl.what is your way to build a team, just leech off other teams rosters instead of building your own.kinda like imperialism,football wise.before free agency how would you have preferred the jets to build their team.

  23. By Jet Fan Since '64 Tom on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe, the first thing I see in Hill is that the Jets had him ranked as a #1 pick, as did other teams, as compared to Schilens, a #7. That’s a little like comparing #1 Hakeem Nicks to #4 Chansi Stuckey or even #6 Marcus Henry. Second, I’ve watched the guy’s tape and seen him live in a game or 2 and it’s clear to me that his production had mostly to do with the kind of O that G Tech ran. He seems to have all the gifts, way more than Clowney who by the way was also a #6 pick and not even by us (GB) and who didn’t have Hill’s size or speed. givemeglen, thanks for the G Tech update, I always like smart players and the Jets are a couple of yrs overdue on going for guys with character. That’s not the only thing but it’s a factor.

  24. By 40 year fan on May 5, 2012 | Reply

    I am looking forward to having Sparano as O.C… we should have made a move years ago … We will run offense alot more consistantly . I was tired of seeing the hair brained scemes of our last guy …

  25. By GaryC on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    I believe even Rex has tired of playing the father flanagan role to his team,time for these players to man up,stay out of the nightclubs,that is a reason why rex went to lose his poundage,showing discipline that some of his players failed to show during the year.

  26. By scjoe on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    GaryC, where is it written that you get absolute results building solely through the draft? What is the Jets track record over, oh lets say,the past ten years in the draft? How did Gholston (#1) Ducasse (#2) Wilson (#2) Clemens (#2) shall I go on? work out? You can even make a case to add Sanchez in to that mix. No, I am not a big fan of Burress, but how did Edwards work out as a FA? What about Cro? How about Curtis Martin? Bottom line, there has to be a mix. No team, and I mean NO team builds ENTIRELY through the draft in today’s NFL

  27. By scjoe on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    64, hate to beat a dead horse, but it is the best, and the only way to make a point. It don’t really matter in the grand scheme of things if the Jets had Hill rated as a #1 The problem is, there were more pressing needs then a WR. THAT, more then anything else is the point I am trying to get across. An O lineman at that point in the draft was much more of a need then another WR. That is a given! And even you, with your new found optimism can not deny that. It makes more sense to go with a 2nd rd OT and a 6th rd WR, then visa versa.

  28. By By Jet Fan Since 1964 Frank on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe, I do not disagree with you on the fact we need several offensive linemen as well as an inside, outside running back, but Hill is now on the roster and that is not going to change. But if you take a look at Brandon Bostick he could be a surprise at TE, Dennis Landoft, Robert Griffin and Kyle Nunn may also be surprises all offensive lineman there have been some great players that ended up playing in the NFL that were not drafted and who were walkins. After looking at Robert Griffin and Kyle Nunn’s backgrounds, these are big, fast linemen that “MAY” surprise us all…

  29. By GaryC on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe, what about cromartie,I wouldn’t call it a slam dunk with his tackling issues,have we forgot already victor cruz.history says the majority of teams who draft well make the playoffs more often.mercenaries think more about themselves then they do the team.

  30. By scjoe on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t know about that one GaryC. It seems to me, the Patriots, who dip their hand into the FA market as much as anyone, makes the playoffs year after year after year, and lets be honest, they haven’t drafted all that well over the past few years considering all those 1st 2nd and 3rd round picks they always seem to have. As for Cro? Sure, he is not all pro material, so why is he starting over Wilson, who happened to be a 1st round draft pick? Their goes your logic.

  31. By scjoe on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    64, I can’t argue with any of your logic above. Hill is on the roster and that will not change. But the very last thing I will say about the Hill selection (for now :-) is, even if he goes out this year and has 100 catches and makes the pro bowl, it will not change the fact that it was not a need selection (at that time) Lets see who the starting RT will be and how the season progresses before we can declare a winner in this on going debate, because we both know it can’t be done now.

  32. By Row on May 6, 2012 | Reply

    Hope Hill likes running the slant. Sanchez doesn’t have the arm to get him the ball deep. Sparano is really going to get frustrated in camp, I forsee a big learning curve for the entire offense. A very good draft pick, probably the fastest WR with size in Jet history. All eyes on #6 and the two players that were drafted at safety. Gonna be a long camp. Go Jets

  33. By oasus on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    putting all your eggs in the Chaz Schillens basket sc? Our depth at WR wasn’t that great. Yes, WR WAS a need. That is something experts and fans agreed on. If WR wasn’t such a pressing need, why did Plaxico have so much trouble getting separation between the 20s? You can’t blame that on Sanchez.

  34. By TonyS on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    I was looking forward to watching Logan Payne impress again in camp this year. He would have been a solid starter if not for the hand injury last season and I was certain this was his year. Too bad.

  35. By GaryC on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    Oasus, you hit it on the noggin,to say wide receiver was not a priority,stating the view of scjoe is like obama saying the economy is on an upturn.we weren’t exactly blowing out lightbulbs on the scoreboards this past year.scjoe says draft a right tackle,but names of the past like Dave Foley,Mike Haight,Robert Woods,now theirs a name to conjur up,all busts,I will take my chance with Hill to bring more offense to this team,you will need to keep up the pace with the patriots.

  36. By GaryC on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    scjoe,6 round draft choice,brady,that is why the patriots are winning,not because they are bringing in quality free agents,look at their best players besides welker, all draft picks.mayo,gronkowski,wilfork,hernandez,matt light.

  37. By scjoe on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    oqsus, just one question. Looking back at last season would you say that WR was more of a need then O Line? If you think it was then I must have been watching a different team then you. And yes, I do blame Sanchez to a degree for not getting the ball to both Plax and SH with accuracy on a consistent basis, so what makes anyone believe he will with Hill?

  38. By oasus on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    Are you kidding me? Even Tom Brady wouldn’t have thrown to Plaxico! By all means Sanchez isn’t perfect, but you’re acting like he’s supposed to be some sort of god! I could only WISH! As far as needs, OL and WR, I considered on equal footing. Sure Wayne Hunter wasn’t that great, and sure I wanted him gone. But the best linemen in the world won’t mean diddley if you don’t have someone that can stretch the field! And not to knock BE, who I wanted back, but Hill’s got age on his side. He’s gonna be a Jet for a while.

  39. By scjoe on May 7, 2012 | Reply

    GaryC, c’mon man! Where does Moss, Welker, Harrison, Fred Taylor, Sammy Morris, and Seau fit in to that equation? Remember, I am talking about the past ten years or so. Are you telling me theses guys listed above were not integral parts to that teams success?

  40. By scjoe on May 8, 2012 | Reply

    oasus, to suggest that Tom Brady would not even throw to Plax is ludicrous, so I wont even respond to that. No, I am not acting as if Sanchez has to be some kind of a God! Just an average to above average NFL QB. So far he is not. Many here on this site agree, BUT, concluded that his problem was his OC. Me? I will have to see a major improvement this from him season to buy into that theory. By the way, who “stretches the field” for Brady? Where is it written that you need a WR to “stretch the field” to run a successful offense? I would say that SH is quicker then any WR NE has, so what am I missing.

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