Aside from wide receivers Mike Thomas and Cecil Shorts, many Jacksonville Jaguars fans consider mid-season pick up Jason Hill to be a lock on the roster, and the other Jaguars starting wide receiver. Hill however, hasn't shown much in training camp thus far, and it has some fans worried.
Hill was claimed off waivers in November of the 2010 season and impressed the coaching staff in practice. With Mike Sims-Walker playing on a high ankle sprain much of the second half of the year, Hill found himself getting plenty of snaps in the receiver rotation. Hill flashed in the 4 games he played, showing the ability to get down the field and even caught a long touchdown pass. He looked like he was just buried with a new front office that didn't pick him with the San Francisco 49ers.
Last night on the Gene Smith Show on on WOKV, general manager Gene Smith touched on how disappointing Hill has been to start training camp. Smith made mention that a big part of Jason Hill's slow start was probably due to the Florida heat and humidity taking it's toll and a lack of OTA's. When I heard that, I kind of just grinned and shook my head. If it's getting to Hill that much this early, that's no good. It's only going to get worse before the humidity lets up. It can often be ultra-humid until early November in Jacksonville. If the humidity is bothering Hill to that extent, he should be limited in practice, which to my knowledge he's not.
Smith also made mention that the UDFA wide receiver group has looked very good. He lemented the fact that Armon Binns has been sidelined with a soft tissue injury. Binns and UDFA Jamar Newsome have looked very good in training camp, and I made mention that both will be tough cuts. It's possible the Jaguars do wind up keeping six wide receivers this season, even though that's not their standard operating procedure. Hill is going to need to have a nice preseason, or the worry is just going to get greater.
It does make me wonder however... If Jason Hill continues to struggle and the other young receivers don't, is he a lock to make the roster?