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The Tye Hill consolidation thread


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First off, I think this is a GREAT move by TD. We risk next to nothing (a 7th round pick according to what I've seen) for a guy who was a 1st round pick just a couple years ago. He had a good rookie year and was poised to blow away his rookie year numbers (he had almost matched them in half the games: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/players/stats?playerId=9601) until his back injury.

I know some people are already blowing this off because he missed the majority of the last two years, but lets look at the injuries:

* Cracked bone in his back - This isn't something that will reoccur. It is a one time, freak accident deal.

* Torn cartilage/Cyst behind his knee - The injury shouldn't have kept him out all season but they didn't find the cyst until it was too late in the season. Again, this isn't something that should reoccur.

Hill comes in and is instantly our best CB, although I suspect this is a repeat of Foxworth where it may be a little bit before we see him in games.

ESPN and Scouts Inc. has him rated in the neighborhood of Marlion Jackson, Aqib Talib, Phillip Buchanan and ... Domonique Foxworth. See what I'm saying?? :)

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Rams Tye Hill: 'I think I've had my share of the down times'

Former top pick has endured two rough seasons

BY STEVE KORTE - News-Democrat

ST. LOUIS -- If any player on the St. Louis Rams could use a fresh start, it's cornerback and former first-round draft pick Tye Hill.

"I think I've had my share of the down times with the injuries and stuff like that,'' Hill said. "I definitely feel like that's behind me now. I'm ready to move on."

Hill had a promising rookie season after being the Rams' first-round draft choice in 2006, but he played in only 12 games over the past two seasons due to injuries.

Now healthy, Hill wants to prove he was worth that first-round pick.

"I'm looking forward to the future, and I'm looking forward to being that corner that the Rams drafted 15th overall in '06,'' Hill said.

Hill said his motivation goes beyond not wanting to be labeled as a draft bust.

"Of course I want to just because I was a first-round pick, but at the same time, I'm a competitor,'' Hill said. "I'm a football player, and this is all I've been doing all my life. If you don't have that desire to go out and to be what you think you are every Sunday or every day you're out at practice, then you don't need to be playing this game.''

A broken bone in his back caused Hill to miss the final eight games of the 2007 season, and a knee injury kept him on the shelf for the final 12 games of the 2008 season.

Hill was supposed to return in a couple of weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage in his knee after Week 4 last season, but the injury lingered until the Rams finally placed him on injured reserve on Dec. 7.

"We didn't know what was going on until it was too late,'' Hill said. "The season was beyond gone by the time we found out what was really wrong with my knee.''

Hill said the real problem was a Baker's cyst in his knee.

"Initially it was a torn meniscus, and initially it's 4-6 six weeks ,'' Hill said. "But, I kept complaining of irritation in the back of my knee, which was not letting me run. Come to find out there was a big cyst back there.''

Hill had the cyst removed from his knee.

"All they really had to do was go in and take a cyst out,'' Hill said. "They just had to use an ultrasound and dig deep in it with a needle. It's nothing you want to go through, though."

Hill said the knee feels 100 percent.

"I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm definitely almost there,'' Hill said. "I just have to continue to work every day. I think my speed definitely came back, and that's one thing I'm really excited about.''

Hill is currently starting opposite Ron Bartell, although a line of young players has formed to challenge him, including second-year player Justin King, third-year player Jonathan Wade and rookie Bradley Fletcher.

Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo said Hill's pedigree as a former first-round pick gives him no job security.

"I'll be honest with you, I don't get wrapped up in how they get here,'' Spagnuolo said. "He's being looked at and evaluated like any other guy. I watched the one-and-ones every day, and he's done some good things. He's got some talent. He knows it. He just wants to fine tune some things, and hold onto a job.''

Rams free safety Oshiomogho Atgowe said Hill has the right attitude this year.

"Tye has become a real professional in his fourth year,'' Atogwe said. "He's really trying to take care of his body now, and he's focused out there. He's not just out there playing on pure ability. He's learning the game. He's allowing his coaching and his skill to another level that he has yet to reach. I am excited for him because I believe it is going to be a big year for him.''

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ESPN/Scouts Inc info on Hill:

Comment: Hill is a third-year player who only started four games last year due to injury. He is an athletically gifted player with good agility and straight-line speed. He has smooth hips with quick feet and good acceleration. He excels in man coverage due to his ability to flip and run without giving up much separation. He has very good speed to run deep. He's an aggressive player in man coverage who will challenge receivers early in routes and is not afraid to try and make plays on the ball down field. A confident player in his speed to close quick and make up ground as the ball arrives. When playing off the ball he will often shuffle to gain depth. He has a good short burst to close on an angle but is somewhat inconsistent as a tackler. Against the run, he will give effort to make plays but not a consistently physical force on the outside. Hill is a solid starter when healthy who still has upside and hasn't reached his full potential yet.

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About.com Draft Profile:


Although Hill may not be getting the kind of press that fellow corners Jimmy Williams and Jason Allen get, he should be. Hill is having no problem replacing Justin Miller at Clemson. He has developed into a very solid corner with plenty of room to improve.His incredible potential has been verified over the past two years with back-to-back most improved player awards in his only two years playing defensive back. Hill was the ACC 100m champ in track and the second fastest player in the country last year! Also led the nation in passes defensed last year with 21. Given Hill's speed, aggression, and still budding skills as a corner, he should rise up draft boards with every game he plays.


Does not have ideal size. New breed of corners are over 6 feet and 200-plus pounds. Can be outleaped and outworked for the ball. While his aggression has served his stats well (school record 21 passes defensed) this makes him more prone to mistakes, although rarely on deep balls.


Bottom line is that Hill is on his third year as a defensive back. His speed is world class and he has faced similar competition. His raw skills and potential alone should net him plenty of attention from scouts. Right now I list him as a second-round pick with ample time to move up.

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Sports Illustrated Draft Profile on Hill:

SI says he has 4.38 speed!

BIO: Former running back who switched to cornerback as a sophomore and has started ever since. All-Conference selection as a senior after totaling 43/3/4. Junior numbers included 52/21.

POSITIVES: Terrific shutdown cornerback coming off an outstanding senior season. Quick-footed in reverse, fluid flipping his hips and loses nothing transitioning with opponents. Easily stays downfield with receivers, reading their eyes then getting his head back around to locate the ball. Quick planting to the throw and adjusts in midair to make the interception. Physical and supports the run.

NEGATIVES: Marginal size and loses out in battles. Has average hands.

ANALYSIS: A track sprinter who translates his speed onto the football field, Hill has been on a straight shot up draft boards the past six months. Performed well last season then had an outstanding Senior Bowl. First-round selection who should quickly break into a starting role at the next level.

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From ESPN's Draft Profile on Hill:

Strengths Is a track star turned DC. Has blazing speed and is the fastest DC in this class. He has extremely fluid hips. Can turn and run vertically with any WR in the NFL. Is extremely quick in his back pedal. He has explosive closing burst and can make up a lot of ground when the ball is in the air. Shows very quick feet and good lateral movement skills. He has good leaping ability (39-inch vertical) and will challenge for the jump ball. Is tough for his size. Won't back down from a challenge. His ball skills continue to improve. He's doing a better job of finding the ball in the air and adjusting to it. Is also a threat on the return if he gets daylight. He will fill hard vs. the run. Lacks size but has decent strength and is a fundamentally sound tackler.

Weaknesses Lacks great experience at the position. Has made huge strides in terms of technique and recognition skills but still is too inconsistent and needs more polish. He is undersized. Lacks height and bulk. Has developed into a good run-support DC, but will occasionally get run over by bigger backs. He will have trouble matching up against bigger WR's in the NFL and may never be more than a slot-corner, as a result.

Overall Hill began his career as a running back as a redshirt in 2001. He rushed for 255 yards on 42 carries as a redshirt freshman in 2002 before switching to cornerback in 2003. He was a fulltime starter at cornerback since making the move in 2003 and he has 10 INTs in three seasons (2003-'05). As a junior in 2004, he finished with 52 tackles, three INTs, one sack and 21 broken up passes. Hill also was the 2004 ACC 100-meter outdoor champion. Hill started all 12 games as a senior in 2005 and finished with 54 tackles, one sack, five TFL, three interceptions and seven PBU. Hill's NFL potential is somewhat limited by his poor size. He also is relatively inexperienced at the cornerback position and still needs polish before he will be ready to contribute on the NFL level. However, he is a terrific athlete who possesses the most explosive top-end speed of any prospect in this year's class. He also is a natural playmaker with impressive ball skills. After strong showings at the Senior Bowl and combine, Hill is very much a prospect on the rise and it would not surprise us if he comes off the board in the top-20 overall picks.

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Biography from CUTigers Magazine:

Hill finished his senior season at Clemson with 53 total tackles, including five for loss, three interceptions and seven passes broken up. He was also named to the first team ESPN.com All-American team, the first team Walter Camp All-American team and was one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe award honoring the nation’s top defensive back.

Hill was a big reason Clemson's defense held a Bobby Bowden-coached FSU team and a Steve Spurrier-coached South Carolina team without an offensive touchdown in the final two games of the season. In addition, his 40 career passes defended are the seventh most in Clemson history (Credit: CuTigers Magazine)

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Ahh Im not a fan of readin,

A PICTURE ( IN THIS CASE VIDEO) WORTH A MILLION WORDS.... So here ya go, enjoy this quick look at our new FALCONS

Thanks! I haven't gotten to Video's yet.. but everyone on here should watch this, especially the play at 3:18. This is exactly why Hill can help us out. The WR he was covering was far taller than he was and yet he went up, out jumped him and made the INT.

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FoxSports comments on Hill coming out from the draft:

Durable and dependable player who shifted from running back to cornerback and became on of the best in the NCAA. Not big enough to go at the top of the draft, but displays keen instincts and has speed to burn.

Pa_Falcon_Fan: Sounds like he has had some bad luck with injuries the last two years but has a history of being healthy.

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Tye Hill ready for another chance with Rams




As the ball began its descent on a trajectory that would take it to the deep left corner of the end zone, cornerback Tye Hill sealed off tight end Daniel Fells and moved in front of him. A second later, with Fells effectively eliminated from the play, the ball was nestled in Hill's hands.

It was a perfectly executed interception by Hill during red-zone drills Tuesday morning at Rams training camp, and it prompted whoops of delight from his fellow defenders.

"He's been working as hard as anybody here," defensive end Chris Long said. "He really has approached this camp seriously."

That might not have been the case before for Hill, who acknowledged before his rookie season that, "I'm just not a camp guy."

But now Hill, a fourth-year pro, is trying to re-establish himself after two injury-wracked seasons.

And he realizes that it's going to take a determined effort to convince new coach Steve Spagnuolo that he deserves a spot with the first-team secondary.

"He's being looked at and evaluated like any other guy," Spagnuolo said. "He's got some talent, he knows that. He just wants to ... hold on to a job. That's basically what he wants to do."

True, that's the top priority for Hill, limited to eight games in 2007 because of a wrist injury and just four games last year after tearing knee cartilage.

But he's also burning to prove that the club invested wisely when it made the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Clemson standout, a former Atlantic Coast Conference sprint champion, its first-round draft choice in 2006.

"I'm looking forward to being that corner that the Rams drafted 15th overall," Hill said. "I'm a competitor, and if you don't have that desire to be what you think you are every Sunday or every day at practice, then you don't need to be playing this game."


On the day he was drafted, Hill invited the entire populace of St. George, S.C., to join him in celebration. Many of the 2,100 residents did just that, toasting the town's first homegrown professional athlete.

A few months later, Hill made his NFL debut as the Rams' nickel back in front of 65,577 fans at the Edward Jones Dome. Hill picked off a pass from Denver quarterback Jake Plummer in the 18-10 victory.

By Week 5, Hill was a starter as injuries began to deplete the secondary. The Rams wound up 8-8 in coach Scott Linehan's first season at the helm and Hill completed an encouraging rookie year, finishing with 42 tackles and three interceptions.

The fortunes for Linehan and the youngster he tapped with his first-ever draft selection soon began to sour, however. By midseason the next year, the Rams were 0-8 and Hill was headed for the injured-reserve list and serious wrist surgery. That 3-13 season was followed by an even worse 2008 campaign, for the coach and the cornerback. Linehan was fired after the Rams opened 0-4, en route to a 2-14 record. In the 31-14 drubbing by the visiting Buffalo Bills on Sept. 28 that sealed Linehan's fate, Hill went down with the knee injury that would end his season.


Frustrated that he'd lost another season, Hill became even more disheartened when his knee was mysteriously slow to heal despite hours of painful rehab.

At one point, he seemed to indicate that his career could be in jeopardy, grumbling, "At least I can say I made it to the league."

Hill kept complaining of irritation behind the knee, and doctors eventually discovered a cyst there. Once it was drained, Hill rebounded quickly. He has had no problems with the joint during training camp.

"You just want to make it through camp so you can make it through the season," Hill said. "But I was a hundred percent coming in; that's the main thing."

That at least gives him a fighting chance to refute skeptics eager to slap a "bust" label on him. First-rounders tend to be judged quickly and harshly, noted Rams defensive tackle Adam Carriker, the 13th overall selection in 2007.

"You're picked in the first round, they're paying you a lot of money, and you want to live up to that," Carriker said. "But in (Hill's) defense, he hasn't really had a chance. I mean, if you're hurt, what are you going to do?"

Long, the No. 2 overall pick last year, agreed that first-rounders are subjected to immediate — and enduring — pressure to perform.

"We all feel it; we all have our reputations to live up to," he said. "A lot is expected of us. You just have to rise above that."

That's the plan, Hill said.

"I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm almost there," he said. "You've just got to get back into the groove of things, because you've been out of it so long. The last few practices, it's starting to come back. I'm excited about that."

Hill, 27, has helped his cause by taking particular care in developing a complete game, instead of relying so heavily on his speed and athleticism.

"He's not just going out and playing on pure ability," said safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, a fellow member of the '06 draft class. "He's focused, and he's allowing his knowledge of the game, his coaching and his skills to take him to another level."

Hill is taking no chances with his second chance.

"I've had my share of the down times with the injuries, but I definitely feel like that's behind me now," he said. "I'm ready to move on."

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Analyzing the Hill trade by the Falcons

September 1, 2009 12:40 PM

Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas

Nice move by Atlanta general manager Thomas Dimitroff on Tuesday morning as he traded for cornerback Tye Hill.

We don’t know exactly what kind of draft-pick compensation the Falcons had to give to the Rams yet, but credit Dimitroff with seeing a need for help in the secondary and addressing it. Also give him credit for not panicking and going after some aging player.

Hill is a guy who still has some upside. In fact, Hill is the kind of first-round talent the Falcons haven’t had on their roster since ... well, DeAngelo Hall, but that’s a bad example. Atlanta went through last season kind of patching things together at cornerback and they seemed destined to do the same thing this year.

They didn’t have any blue-chip corners and appeared ready to go into the season with Chris Houston and Brent Grimes as the starters and rookie Chris Owens and second-year pro Chevis Jackson as the backups. Houston’s been good at times, but not so good at other times. He came into the league as a second-round draft pick and Grimes came in as an undrafted free agent. Owens and Jackson were third-round choices.

There’s a belief in the NFL that top-flight cornerbacks come only in the first round. Hill was a first-round pick by the Rams in 2006. He had a very good rookie season, but has been limited the last two seasons by injuries.

Is he a true shutdown corner? You can’t call him that at the moment. But he was viewed as a first-round talent at one point and he has the potential to develop into a shutdown corner. Even if he’s just a decent corner, he’s probably an upgrade.

Although the Falcons love Grimes’ athletic ability, they’re concerned about other teams trying to exploit his size. Grimes is listed as 5-foot-9, which may be generous. Hill’s listed as 5-foot-10. He’s not known for being the most physical corner.

But Hill can cover receivers and that’s something the Falcons really needed.

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This board needs all the competent members it can get. I've been on here since 97 and the conversation has degraded into high school name calling and posturing rather than having civil honest discussion.

not to many posts since 97 i see........

and has this site been up that long?/?

was the internet even real then? lol :P

guess ur not a big poster then since you have been on here since 97 (12 years)

with less than 500 posts

thats waaaaaay less than a post a day

what did you do weekly posts???

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not to many posts since 97 i see........

and has this site been up that long?/?

was the internet even real then? lol :P

guess ur not a big poster then since you have been on here since 97 (12 years)

with less than 500 posts

thats waaaaaay less than a post a day

what did you do weekly posts???

I lost my post count in one of the MANY message board upgrades/change overs and didn't feel like being a whiner and complaining to get it back. It isn't as big of a deal to me like I guess it is to you.

The Falcons site has been up since 96 and the Web has been around since 93-94. I was working for MindSpring (an Internet Service Provider) in late 97/early 98 so I was online all day every day at work so I spent a lot of time posting.

Don't believe me? Ask SacFalcFan, JStammer, Shiney, Rev_Hal, Shay, Duff_Man, Mozzie71, Clownorg and any number of long time posters. I know all of them personally and have for a very long time since I've gone to the Message Board Get Together's since 2001-2002.

I was also the moderator of Jamal Anderson's official Web site/message board in 99. He has since taken the site down (Jam32.com) but if anyone remembers the site and board they can verify...

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