Stephen Hill Might Be Benched

Ron Antonelli

Rex Ryan is often accused of playing favorites and not benching players when they're not playing well. Often times that is true. However, Rex Ryan stated today that he is considering benching Stephen Hill from the starting lineup due to his subpar performances.

Hill had an excellent start to the season with thirteen catches for 233 yards and one touchdown in the first three games. Since then, he's had just ten catches for 107 yards. Hill has not had a reception the past two weeks, despite playing more snaps than any other receiver on the team.

There are some reasons for this. Against the New Orleans Saints, Hill was often used as the decoy to stretch the field deep while David Nelson and Greg Salas had more open space on the underneath routes. Hill is often double covered with safety help as the team's only real deep threat (although Santonio Holmes, now that he is back, is also a deep threat).

Hill was considered a significant project player coming out of Georgia Tech, where he only had forty-nine receptions in three years in their run-heavy offense. He was extremely raw but as one of the most physically impressive specimens he showed a significant amount of promise. He has gotten significantly better since he was drafted, but I'm of the opinion that we won't know the true Hill until sometime next year, especially if he gets a true receiving threat opposite him, or at least a consistently healthy Holmes.

However, that's no excuse for the present. Hill isn't getting the job done, and in keeping with the team's "competition" mantra, a benching is necessary to show the team that you won't get rewarded for doing an unsatisfactory job. Until Hill shows he deserves to start, it's time to see more of Nelson and Salas.

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