This might be stating the obvious when it comes to sports, but it is hard to make an impression or an impact when you are injured. That has been the situation for third-year pro wide receiver Stephen Hill in his short stint with the New York Jets.
Hill has battled knee problems each of his first two seasons since being drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft out of Georgia Tech. Hill, in the 19 career games that he has been able to participate in, has caught 45 passes for 594 yards and four touchdowns.
Fans of the New York Jets were expecting a lot out of the 6-foot-4 215 pound Hill, especially when you consider the lineage of Georgia Tech wide receivers that are terrorizing the NFL as we speak such as Calvin Johnson and Demaryius Thomas. Hill has some huge expectations to live up to and that is what makes this training camp for him so important.
It is cruel to throw the word bust around when talking about a player that has been for one injured, and for two, playing with subpar quarterbacks when he is on the field. But that has not stopped fans from making that unfair statement about Stephen Hill.
That topic was spoken about in a June 12th article from the New York Daily News by Manish Mehta. In the article, Jets wide receiver coach Sanjay Lal spoke on whether it was fair or not to label Hill as a bust:
“It’s a little early to label him a bust. When I think of a bust, I don’t think of him that way. I have seen players who are higher picks that were bust because of their own laziness. Those are bust. I have a hard time labeling a guy a bust when he’s done everything in his power. Luck in terms of injuries has not been on his side.”
Hill really needs to make a good impression in training camp and in preseason games over the next few weeks. The Jets added some wide receiver depth this offseason with the signing of Eric Decker as well as drafting UCLA’s Shaq Evans and Oklahoma’s Jalen Saunders in the fourth round of this years draft. Those moves are a sign that Hill’s days might be numbered.
At the end of the day, the Big Apple is merciless and no one is going to feel sorry for Stephen Hill. No one is going to think about whether the labels or scrutiny are warranted or not. All people are going to want to see is results. The new kids that have come in camp to try to take his spot are going to show no mercy. They are not going to care about Hill’s injury history at all. The only thing Hill can do is work hard and take care of business.
For more on all the happenings in Georgia Tech Athletics, be sure to follow YellowJackedUp on Facebook, Twitter, and use our Android/iOS app to get updates directly from Fansided. Or you can receive email updates from Yellowjackedup.com, by completing the following form here