There are the things Jets WR Stephen Hill must do himself; obstacles he must overcome without the help of a coach or calendar. Last year, he encountered the typical potholes — nagging injuries, an overload of information in a maddening environment — and the not-so-typical. At one point last season a fan once obtained his personal cell phone number and harassed him, via text message, about his uneven play. Hill slogged through games injured, desperate to keep pace and shoulder more responsibility in a woeful offense. He disliked having to explain himself to reporters.
It amounted to a rookie season with flashes of both brilliance and frustration. Hill can smile now when he admits how he felt, like he was simply lost and running in space.
"It’s not hard, it’s just annoying," Hill told The Star-Ledger on a quiet afternoon last week in Florham Park. "We’re always on ESPN for something, and it was just a lot. It put pressure on learning, and then having to explain if I messed up, so that’s where most of the pressure was.
"It probably did throw me off during games, you’re just out there running. That’s what it felt like. I was out there running but I didn’t understand the whole football concept."
With Santonio Holmes aging and coming off an injury, the Jets are desperate for a playmaker at WR, and they drafted Hill to fill that role. His value will be largely dependent on the team's QB play, which doesn't project to be very good.