Didn't see this anywhere so apolgies if it's a repeat. Personally, I think we put way too much pressure on this guy while giving Ducasse 3 years to come around. But hey, that's the NFL.
Drop against Patriots still haunts Jets receiver
Mike Garafolo, USA TODAY SportsShare0 Comments
New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill wants to redeem himself after a drop cost the Jets a shot at victory against the Patriots in the teams' first meeting this season.(Photo: Ed Mulholland, U.S. Presswire)
8:57PM EST November 20. 2012 - FLORHAM PARK, N.J. – The last time the New York Jets faced the New England Patriots, they were a play or two away from knocking off their divisional rivals.
- Jets had a shot at beating the Patriots in the first meeting, but lost in overtime
- Stephen Hill's drop led to a tying field goal instead of the potential winning TD
- Hill says Thursday night's game vs. Pats will give him a chance to redeem himself
One of those plays was a drop by Stephen Hill on a third-and-4 late in the fourth quarter that resulted in a tying field goal instead of a first down toward a potential go-ahead touchdown.
It was arguably the difference between a season-saving victory and a disappointing near-upset. And it was a moment Hill has been trying to put behind him, only to be reminded once again Tuesday, thanks to a series of questions on it in the final media session before Thursday night's rematch with the Pats.
Hill politely and briefly answered all of them but made it clear afterward he's trying to spin that moment into a positive instead of dwelling upon it as a negative.
"That's the thing. I'm like, 'A drop? Yeah, it hurts. It's going to hurt the team, X, Y, Z. But at the same time, it's a learning experience,'" the second-round pick told USA TODAY Sports. "I've had so much stuff put into my brain this year. I mean, this is a lot (of information). So I just take every day, one day at a time.
"If I mess up, I mess up, I just mess up. I mean, it's life."
Life for the Jets hasn't been so swell these past few months, what with six losses to their four wins, the constant Tim Tebow chatter, the continuous watch for signs of a mutiny and the backlash for their years of pounding their chests publicly, even if coach Rex Ryan has tried to tone down his act, especially during Patriots week.
It's been rough for Hill, too. He had the drop in New England, one against the Miami Dolphins and another this past Sunday against the St. Louis Rams.
At this point, he's trying to look at the upside, which is that at least he's getting open.
"Yeah, oh, yeah. I look at it that way all the time," Hill said. "Once I get on the plane, it happened. I'm like, 'Damn, Steve, you could've made that catch. Just catch it first and then run.' It's not like I can't catch, it's like I'm trying to look before I go."
Hill, thrust into a starting role right away this season, has heard the criticism from the outside.
"Just listen to it," he said, "and let it go."
Hill has gone two games without a catch and has just 14 receptions on the season, a staggeringly low number considering he came right out of the gate with five catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns in the season-opening victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Hill has a theory for why his production has been lower than he'd hoped.
"I would probably say I would've taken my offseason more football-serious instead of training for the combine," he said. "Just coming from college, the combine, I went straight into training, there was no kind of break or nothing."
That's the only regret he has. The drops, he can only hope to make amends for them. And there's no time like Thursday night to do so.
"It's easy to forget about, but it's not easy to just (accept), because it could've put us in a different situation," he said of the drop against the Patriots, adding of this week's game: "You can say it's kind of a get-back in a way, definitely, because we lost and I had that crucial drop."