Jets gush about Stephen Hill

Greetings-

Some post-draft tidbits for you about Stephen Hill. The Jets PR people were good enough to send me a transcript from a news conference with GM Mike Tannenbaum, college scouting VP Joey Clinkscales and senior personnel executive Terry Bradway. Some interesting stuff on Mr. Hill.

1. Tannenbaum said the team studied Demaryius Thomas’ adjustment to the NFL to get an idea of how Hill might transition from the Tech offense to the NFL, and spent a lot of time getting to know Hill. In addition to the pro day at Tech, the Jets worked him out at their facility and also in Atlanta, which lasted about an hour and a half.

Tannenbaum: “We really feel he can run all the routes we’ll ask in our offense. Again, he was a very good blocker in a run-oriented offense. He has very good football acumen and we feel the transition can happen really quickly.”

2. Clinkscales’ assessment of Hill: “He is a tall kid who can run. He is flexible, can sink his hips, he can drop his weight and get in and out of routes. More (important) than the offense is his skill set, and I think his skill set transfers to this level pretty well.”

3. Clinkscales, on if Hill reminds the Jets of anyone:

“He’s unique. He’s a 6’4 kid that weighs 215 and runs a 4.32. He’s a unique athlete, he really is. Calvin Johnson, maybe? And I’m not going to put that label on him but from a height, weight, speed moniker.  He’s just a unique athlete.”

4. Tannenbaum shared an interesting detail from his interview with Hill regarding his recruitment to Tech. As presumably a lot of teams did, the Jets asked Hill why a wide receiver would play for a run-oriented offense.

Tannenbaum: “He said they were initially the only team that had offered him and he had committed to them and later on in the process a few other more traditional passing teams had offered him a scholarship, but he didn’t want to back out on his commitment,” Tannenbaum said. “I thought that was very admirable. Again, that’s not why we took him or why we were interested in him, but that was an interesting anecdote because we were asking him why would you go there knowing you’re a receiver and that they’re going to run the ball.”

If you’ll remember, Hill committed to Tech in the fall of 2008 (he had actually committed to Central Florida prior to that) before Georgia (Tennessee did, as well) made a late push, which caused Hill to waver before sticking with Tech.

5. Bradway on the transition from the Tech offense:

“I think there’s a transition for all of them, to be honest with you. With the spread offenses, they don’t normally run the NFL route tree. But it was important for us to put him through that to see that he could do it. Like I said, at the combine, at his pro day, and at his work out for us, he showed that he can do that. This guy is really coachable. He’s willing to work. With (wide receivers coach) Sanjay (Lal) and our offensive coaches, I think the upside is going to happen pretty quickly for this kid.”

6. Clinkscales on why Hill didn’t have more catches in bigger games:

“Well, I would go back to what was stated a few minutes ago. On the season they completed 64 passes. So probably against some of the better teams they weren’t completing a lot of passes. I don’t think it had anything to do with his production in those games. They had a tough time throwing the ball.”

6. Hill said that he was hoping to end up with the Jets, given the connection he’d made with coaches during the pre-draft meetings.

“They had a little bit of background on me, and I had a great background on them. I feel like I’m in the right spot.”

On playing in a pro-style offense with Mark Sanchez: “I feel great, especially now that I’m in an offense where I can catch the football a little bit more.  Catching the ball from Mark Sanchez is great. I’m going to make sure I get with him as soon as possible and we’re going to try to get this thing rolling.”

On what he’ll bring to the Jets:

“A lot of big plays down the field and getting big touchdowns at the right time, of course. Other than that, I feel like I could bring a lot, especially blocking. I can definitely put somebody on their butt.”

Thanks for reading.

Ken Sugiura, Georgia Tech blog

205 comments Add your comment

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
11:59 am

Good stuff Ken…

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
12:01 pm

“”I think there’s a transition for all of them, to be honest with you.”

Don’t tell anyone completely misguided about the TO offense that…that ruins the entire narrative.

juvenal

April 30th, 2012
12:01 pm

who you like in the Man derby, FLJ?

HighTech

April 30th, 2012
12:11 pm

Is it called a pro-style offense in the NFL or just a pro offense?

Rduck

April 30th, 2012
12:11 pm

excellent article Ken as always. Really alot of good info from the people that scouted him and decided to draft him. I was as sceptical as anyone when Hill came out early, but he worked hard and made his dream come true. Congrats Stephen and I wish you much success. Glad you were a Jacket…

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
12:15 pm

juve…

I’m cheering for another Balotelli meltdown…

Honestly I think it’ll be one of those up-and-down games…and if it comes down to the best keeper I’ll have to go with City. Of course, United can clich the Table with a win so they’ll be amped.

I play soccer with a British ex-pat from Manchester. He’s a United fan, and claims all City fans are the bottom of life’s barrel. Haha totally objective…

mountain_jim

April 30th, 2012
12:21 pm

Coach Johnson finally added a shotgun package this spring, which can only help the future GT passing game, and recruitment efforts of WRs.

Ken Sugiura

April 30th, 2012
12:23 pm

HighTech – I think it’s just called an offense.
Rduck – for better or worse, there’s a heavy emphasis on “measurables,” and Hill has them in abundance, and he has a lot of the intangibles, as well, just not the experience or typical production. it’ll be interesting to see how things develop.

HighTech

April 30th, 2012
12:24 pm

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
12:32 pm

HT…

“Pro-style” offense is a marketing gimmick college teams use to give recruits the somewhat misguided impression that their offense will prepare them for the type of base offense NFL teams run. They usually refer to the I-formation set with a TE as “pro-style” set…therefore I call it the I-formation offense (CPJ’s offense really isn’t the TO offense – that’s just one play – it’s more of a “spread formation”)

It’s highly disingenous to intimate that a maximum of 20 hours/week of coaching instruction in college gets players prepared for 700-page playbooks, learning dozens of offensive sets, recognizing NFL-caliber defensive formations and disguised coverages, making post-snap reads and route adjustments off them, learning offensive terminology and hand signs for plays and audibles, and getting acclimated to the faster speed of the NFL game. It’s not even close.

The only thing that college that runs an I-formation offense can promise is more reps in a watered-down college version of what they run in the NFL. And even then…NFL coaching is superior to college coaching…so the time and instruction that one is able to process and use at the NFL level is infinitely more valuable.

GT Lee

April 30th, 2012
12:33 pm

But according to WeeeeniE the football expert, CPJ’s offense kept him from being drafted…..only help from Terrance Mathis saved the day for Mr Hill……whew

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
12:35 pm

“and recruitment efforts of WRs”

Where does this fallacy come from that CPJ can’t recruit WRs? He’s only put 3 of them in the NFL…including the first one he recruited himself.

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
12:38 pm

“More (important) than the offense is his skill set, and I think his skill set transfers to this level pretty well.”

This is essentially what I’ve said the entire time – that NFL teams draft for tools, not collegiate statistics (unless they want to get fired), because the NFL and college really are different games.

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
12:40 pm

“HighTech – I think it’s just called an offense.”

Haha Ken…kind of like how, in Italy, going out for Italian food is just “going out for food”.

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
12:40 pm

““Pro-style” offense is a marketing gimmick college teams use to give recruits the somewhat misguided impression that their offense will prepare them for the type of base offense NFL teams run.”

This could not have been better said.

This "NFL route tree" comment, and I have heard it more than once...

April 30th, 2012
12:41 pm

…is a bunch of whooey – everybody from pee-wee league thru college runs the same routes, only faster and longer, though some double move routes do not get run until HS – the main difference is that in the pros you have a QB who can get the ball to a spot with zip on it and is accurate 95% of the time…

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
12:43 pm

” the main difference is that in the pros you have a QB who can get the ball to a spot with zip on it and is accurate 95% of the time…”

Unless that QB is Blaine Gabbert…

Frankly

April 30th, 2012
12:43 pm

Good luck to SH as he transitions to the Jets offense, I for one am excited to see how much he develops. Had he attended anywhere else in D-1 we would have a much better idea on that.

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
12:48 pm

” Had he attended anywhere else in D-1 we would have a much better idea on that.”

No, we wouldn’t.

Mark (another one)

April 30th, 2012
12:50 pm

I don’t see the issue with CPJ’s offense. It’s different and causes opponents issues. I remember when Nebraska used to pass less than ten times a game. They still produced wide receivers, and frankly, they were willing to do more than simple catch passes. Hill isn’t afraid to hit somebody, which will make things interesting at the next level.

I’m a UGA season ticket holder and I admit my bias, but I follow all the players from the state when they move to the NFL. I expect Hill to take some time to adjust (I believe he did when he got to Tech) and then become productive. To compare anyone to Calvin Johnson is unfair but Hill has great physical tools and has always appeared willing to work hard. That’s a great combination.

CoolBreze

April 30th, 2012
12:51 pm

We should all save this article. It contradicts sust about all of the things that those idiot Georgie trolls come on here and say. (and I’m not talking about DawgInLex and some of the guys who make relevant observations.)

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
12:52 pm

GS…the ignorance is thick today isn’t it?

Ken Sugiura

April 30th, 2012
12:52 pm

route tree – the same routes are run, but i think different offenses will utilize more (or less) of them. think of the number of times you saw hill run a crossing route.

Ken Sugiura

April 30th, 2012
12:53 pm

FL Jacket – precisely.

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
12:57 pm

“I remember when Nebraska used to pass less than ten times a game. They still produced wide receivers, and frankly, they were willing to do more than simple catch passes. Hill isn’t afraid to hit somebody, which will make things interesting at the next level.”

Irving Fryar (from Nebraska) was the #1 pick in the 1984 draft…and played 17 seasons in the NFL amassing 851 catches for 12,785 yards and 84 TDs.

PS…how the heck is he not int he HOF??

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
12:58 pm

Sure seems so, FLJ.

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
1:00 pm

The issue is precisely THAT the offense is different, Mark (another one). There are certainly some valid critiques, but you won’t find many of them here.

Paul in NH

April 30th, 2012
1:03 pm

“Unless that QB is Blaine Gabbert…”

Or Tim Tebow

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
1:05 pm

“Or Tim Tebow”

Or JaMarcus “purple drank” Russell

Paul in NH

April 30th, 2012
1:06 pm

Interesting comments from the Jets’ GM but I am taking some of them with a grain of salt. EVERY GM talks about how great their #1 and #2 draft picks will do in the league. None of them know whether their picks will work out. Examples – Ryan Leaf, Tony Mandarich, Mike Williams, Aundray Bruce……

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
1:07 pm

Paul…

What’s gotten into the Toffies?

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
1:07 pm

Good call, Paul!

Is this the part where I take a stab at FLJ and say any QB that has played for the Dolphins in the last decade?

Paul in NH

April 30th, 2012
1:08 pm

Man U over Sittay. SAF wins another EPL

DawginLex

April 30th, 2012
1:08 pm

We have been discussing these perceptions on another site about “NFL Ready”.

Can you name me a NFL player who played for Saban at Bama or LSU who is a pro bowler or who has already had a long career?

MT Cody had zero sacks in 2011, same # as Matthew Stafford LOL

UGA has at least 20 guys right now who are long time NFL guys and/or are making pro bowls.

It may be that being at Tech and being the only guy catching the majority of the passes might be an advantage and give insight as to durability?

Paul in NH

April 30th, 2012
1:12 pm

FLJ
Same thing that seems to happen every year. Start slowly and be fighting to avoid relegation at Christmas. Buckle down, make a couple of key signings (Jelavic, Piennaar, some guy from the LA Galaxy) turn into the 2nd coming of Ajax in the 2nd half of the season.
4 goals in 3 consecutive games, including at Old Trafford, is quite an achievement hough.

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
1:13 pm

GS…

Which one…Ray Lucas? Chad Pennington? Jay Fiedler? John Beck? A.J. Feeley? Chad Henne? Pat White? Tyler Thigpen? Matt Moore? Cleo Lemon? Sage Rosenfels? Gus Frerotte? Daunte Culpepper? Brain Griese? Damon Huard? Josh Heupel? Joey Harrington? Trent Green?

Paul in NH

April 30th, 2012
1:14 pm

DawginLex
The number of Pro Bowlers who played their final college season for Saban at either LSU or Alabama is ZERO

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
1:14 pm

“4 goals in 3 consecutive games, including at Old Trafford, is quite an achievement though.”

Paul…4-0 against the Cottagers (yikes) makes it 0 for the last 19 at Goodison Park…not even a freaking point in any of those!

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
1:17 pm

“Man U over Sittay. SAF wins another EPL”

Paul…I’m smelling draw in this one

dawgfan

April 30th, 2012
1:42 pm

““Pro-style” offense is a marketing gimmick college teams use to give recruits the somewhat misguided impression that their offense will prepare them for the type of base offense NFL teams run.”

Or it could just as easily be a term created by the media to describe teams with a traditional offense, but that doesn’t fit the crybaby “I’m a butthurt Techie upset that my team is irrelevant in football” narrative that you are so obviously going for. A marketing gimmick? You are a joke.

TWO players drafted in the past 2 season Techies. Georgia Tech=JOKE.

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
1:43 pm

“The number of Pro Bowlers who played their final college season for Saban at either LSU or Alabama is ZERO”

This is really interesting. It may mean nothing, or it may mean something. Off the top of my head, I would hypothesize that the data says that Saban does a masterful job of getting the most out of his players in college, but they don’t have much room to grow when they get to the NFL. This makes them low ceiling, but high floor guys. Essentially, they are predictable but not projectable.

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
1:46 pm

Pretty sure the joke’s on you, dawgfan.

Delbert D.

April 30th, 2012
1:50 pm

Historically, the “pro set” is the fullback and running back split behind the quarterback. There are several pro “style” offenses including the I-formation, which was first run by the Chiefs under Hank Stram, if memory serves me correctly. The Bill Walsh west coast offense is another, and just as significant are the various line blocking schemes. Shanahan is still running the zone blocking scheme that Alex Gibbs installed at Denver, and later Atlanta during the Warrick Dunn years. A key element of that scheme is cut blocking. When Bill McKittrick installed it in Bill Walsh’s first year with the 49ers, it turned a 2-win team the year before into Super Bowl contenders throughout the 1980s.

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
1:51 pm

“TWO players drafted in the past 2 season Techies. Georgia Tech=JOKE.”

The expectation that the 2nd youngest team in FBS in 2011 have a lot of draft picks?

dwagfan’s logic=JOKE

dawgfan

April 30th, 2012
1:53 pm

“I would hypothesize that the data says that Saban does a masterful job of getting the most out of his players in college, but they don’t have much room to grow when they get to the NFL.”

I would hypothesize that you don’t have the foggiest effing clue what in the hell you are talking about. 7 Bama players just got drafted, 4 in the first round. So you know better than all of those NFL teams Techie?!?!?!?!

Tech fans make some of the most assinine braindead arguments at the most inopportune times. They wait until Bama has SEVEN players drafted, more than any other college team, to try and argue that Saban does not prepare players for the NFL. Its like waiting until the most clear and sunny day possible to make the argument that the sky is not blue.

Tech fans are as bright as a tree stump.

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
1:55 pm

Do you struggle with reading comprehension, dawgfan?

FL Jacket

April 30th, 2012
1:55 pm

“They wait until Bama has SEVEN players drafted, more than any other college team, to try and argue that Saban does not prepare players for the NFL. Its like waiting until the most clear and sunny day possible to make the argument that the sky is not blue”

dwagfan pretends the players from Alabama who got drafted were mediocre to begin with until touched by Nick’s magic hands…

DawginLex

April 30th, 2012
1:57 pm

dawgfan

We were discussing how UGA has players in the league longer and how we have more pro bowlers than Saban coached players at LSU and Bama.

Could change down the road but right now, UGA players do better and stay longer in the pros than Saban prepared players

DawginLex

April 30th, 2012
1:59 pm

And we are looking at 7 defensive players being drafted in the 1st 3 rounds next year so it is put up or shutup time in Athens IMO

George Stein

April 30th, 2012
1:59 pm

Only in dawgfan’s mind would he think I was slighting Saban when I pointed out that he does a masterful job of getting the most out his players.