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As Camp Wears on, New York Giants’ Will Hill Showing His True Potential

August 3rd, 2012 at 9:30 AM
By Paul Tierney

In terms of evaluating talent, New York Giants General Manager Jerry Reese has always had a knack for finding diamonds in the rough. Whether it be in the late rounds of the draft, or while signing undrafted rookie free agents, Reese has made some extremely savvy low-risk/ high-reward pickups while searching the immense scrap heap of lower-level NFL prospects. Victor Cruz and Mark Herzlich are both great examples of Reese's instinctual ability to determine a players true potential.

This season, it seems as if the Giants have once again come away with another extremely talented undrafted rookie free agent in safety Will Hill. Hill missed all of last season while remaining on the open market as an undrafted free agent. His character concerns scared most teams away. However, his character issues do not overshadow Hills immense potential. On Thursday, head coach Tom Coughlin was impressed by Hill's athleticism.  

"Will Hill is practicing well. I think he got himself into a good weight for a safety in the spring and then lost some weight in Florida training. So you see a real quick, well-conditioned athlete right now. So he has definitely had a couple of days where he has stood out and he has stood out on teams too." Coughlin said.

With the four-game suspension of safety Tyler Sash for violating the league's performance-enhancing drugs policy, Hill is going to have an opportunity to step into the team's vacant third safety role. While many fans are clamoring for the return of Deon Grant, the team's first preference is that the younger, more athletic players on the roster master the playbook to the point where they can fill that void.

Although Grant was instrumental as a leader on the field and in the Giants' locker room a year ago, he is currently 32 years old and clearly possesses a diminishing skill-set. On the other hand, Will Hill is 6'1"/207lbs and runs a 4.46 40-yard dash. He has more than enough athletic ability to play safety in the NFL. In fact, if not for character issues, he most likely would have been an early-mid round draft pick out of college. On Wednesday, Giants safeties coach Dave Merritt addressed the potential the team sees in Will Hill.

"Will is a guy that we all see his athletic ability. This kid has speed. He has quickness, he has burst and acceleration, and this young man has all the tools that you want as a defensive back." Merritt said.

The only thing that has ever kept Will Hill from being recognized as an outstanding football player is himself. As an athlete at Florida, Hill developed into an outstanding player, only to throw it all away sending inappropriate messages via twitter. However, if he displays the ability to mature as a person, the ability to mature as a football player will quickly follow. As one of the more physically talented players on the Giants roster, the only obstacle between him and seeing some serious playing time will be how fast he can learn the playbook.

Even with Tyler Sash, the Giants' still had a relative lack of depth at the safety position. With another vacancy, Hill now has a legitimate opportunity to make the teams 53-man roster and suit up Week one against Dallas. Hopefully, we see a fresh face running the teams three safety package in 2012.


Tags: Dave Merritt, Deon Grant, Football, Jerry Reese, Mark Herzlich, New York, New York Giants, NFL, Tom Coughlin, Tyler Sash, Victor Cruz, Will Hill

30 Responses to “As Camp Wears on, New York Giants’ Will Hill Showing His True Potential”

  1.  jfunk says:

    I think it’s too early to declare Herzlich a diamond in the rough. I’d like to see him dress for every game he’s healthy and make some big plays first.

    •  Paul Tierney says:

      As an undrafted free agent who is more than likely going to make the team for the second consecutive season, I would say he was a diamond in the rough. That said, yeah he still has a lot to prove if he wants to see some playing time.

    •  kujo says:

      Don’t make me hurt you, b*tch.

  2.  JimStoll says:

    FF will be happy

  3.  The Original G Man says:

    Sounds like they’ve got several young UFA defensive backs in camp who are making some things happen …

  4.  JimStoll says:

    right now it sounds like they’ve got bodies at WR, RB and LB who will be hard cuts
    One can imagine Douglass and DePalma to the practice squad so that Nicks, Cruz, Randle, Hixon, Jernigan and Barden make the squad
    one of Brown, Scott and Ware almost certainly will be cut
    and some serious pruning at the LB position — assuming Maseau is cut no. 1, guessing 2 of Sintim , Tracy, Paysinger , Chase or Jones gets the axe

  5.  The Original G Man says:

    Tracy sounds like he’s more in the mix as a DE, no? With the LBs, I think Sintim is any easy “cut” (by cut, I think they may just continue to carry him on the PUP list until whatever week of the reg season you have to do something with them). If someone has to go after that, as odd it seems, I think Chase may be odd man out. By all accounts Paysinger and Jones are looking great. All 3 are ST contributors, but I think gun to my head I go with the younger guys.

  6.  Chad Eldred says:

    Is it possible that Will Hill is being genuine when he says that he gets it now and has grown up? I want to believe that he is. It would be a good story. He’s worked hard and I’d love see him make this team. He has the physical tools. He has been my choice for preseason surprise from the start.

  7.  kujo says:

    Anybody see this video discussing Eli’s HOF creds?

    •  kujo says:

      Graziano’s response is dead-on:

      The debate flared up at some point Thursday, following the circulation of a USA Today story in which former New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms said that both Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin “both absolutely one day will go in the Hall of Fame.” Simms’ point seemed to be that the effect the 2011-12 Super Bowl run had on the resumes of the Giants’ quarterback and coach was to make them unassailable, where not long ago both were the targets of somewhat unwarranted criticism. And his point is well made.

      Is Eli Manning a sure-fire Hall of Famer, even, if he never plays another game?


      But the debate about Manning somehow turned to this question: If he never played another game — say he shocked everyone and announced his retirement this afternoon — is he already a Hall of Famer, based on his career accomplishments to date?

      I think the answer is pretty clearly “no.” The two Super Bowl titles, and his own significant role in delivering them in toe-to-toe matchups against certain Hall of Famer Tom Brady, form the counter-argument and the basis for the question. But Hall of Famers are players with long, distinguished careers whose numbers and accomplishments rank with the all-time greats. Having played just eight years in the NFL, Manning ranks 51st all-time in passing yards and 42nd in touchdowns. He’s thrown exactly one more touchdown pass than former fellow Coughlin quarterback Mark Brunell, who is not going to the Hall of Fame. Put simply, as one would expect after only eight years, Manning has more work to do to become a Hall of Famer.

      Personally, I think he’s one of the great quarterbacks of his era and will play well enough over the next half-decade to reach the Hall of Fame. Say, for example, he passes for 4,000 yards in each of the next four years — entirely possible, given his age, his talent, his supporting cast and the way the modern game is structured. That would land him somewhere around 11th or 12th on the career yardage list. And if he throws for 27 touchdowns per year for those same four years, that’d land him around eighth all-time. Those rankings, combined with his at-least-two Super Bowl titles and MVP trophies, look like Hall of Fame numbers to me. And I don’t see any reason to believe he can’t get there.

      So the conclusion is that, while I agree with Simms that Manning is likely Canton-bound, I don’t agree with those who would argue, as Jason Taylor did in that video linked above, that his ticket is already punched. We live in the instant-analysis, instant-gratification sports era, in which what’s going on right now is held up as the most important stuff that’s ever happened. But Hall of Fame voting takes the long view, and in order to get there, Manning has to keep being excellent for a while yet.

  8.  The Original G Man says:

    Talked to Justin Trattou yesterday. Still in boot, on meds & getting treatment. No timetable yet. He is hoping early next wk or sooner

  9.  The Original G Man says:

    Is Eli Manning a sure-fire Hall of Famer, even, if he never plays another game?

    Uh, yes. His resume can hang with pretty much anyone you care to name.

    The rest is just nonsense. His career is still on the rise and so hasn’t reached the backside portion where you just compile stats and move up the career leaderboard. The comparison to Mark Brunell is asinine. Brunell played in 70 more games than him. If anything, it further points out how outstanding a career Manning has already had.

    And those who try to downplay the 2 Super Bowls just look stupid. Good God, if not for the Super Bowls, would Joe Montana be on the NFL’s Mount Rushmore? Of course not! The Super Bowls are what MADE him. Just like the Super Bowls are what made Eli.

    •  kujo says:

      In an objective sense, perhaps you are right. However, you and I both know that there will be precisely one Manning who gets the “sure-fire” treatment, while the other will go through 2, 3 or maybe 4 rounds of voting, at the very least, before he gets voted in. For whatever reason, people are very skeptical and irrational about Eli, and unless he adds some astronomical number of rings to his already impressive cache or goes bizzerk on some serious passing records, he’s going to be put through the ringer at the end of it. Right or wrong, that’s the way it’ll be.

      •  JimStoll says:

        If Eli gets one more ring then he’ll move into territory occupied by only Montana and Bradshaw (4 each) Brady and Aikman (3 each); and that is a lot more likely than him hanging up spikes any time soon

        the real insult is that Phil Simms isn’t in the hall of fame!!

      •  GOAT56 says:


        Eli is the type of player that needs to be a no doubt HOFer or he will be debated and forced to wait several years IMO. If we dont win another SB and aeli doesnt win a MVP theres just enough that some will argue against him. I think the ESPN guy is dead on, Eli just needs 3 or 4 more years of quality play while posted solid win-loss records.

  10.  Chad Eldred says:

    I don’t think that Manning is a HOF’er at the moment. However, before anyone flames me for thinking that, let me say that I firmly believe that most HOF’s have entry requirements that are far too soft. By the existing standard, maybe you can make a case and he certainly has HOF moments accrued thus far. Particularly this season. Eli is establishing himself as one of the greatest, and could end up being THE greatest, come from behind QB in history. Look at what he does when he is behind or in the 4th quarter and he quickly distinguishes himself from the Tony Romo’s of the world. A few more years of this will give him the longevity to go along with the trophies and he will be a lock. In general I just think that the HOF is far too generous. That goes double for baseball.

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