Tyreek Hill proving his worth after controversial choice
After an impressive touchdown catch on Sunday, Tyreek Hill is starting to come into his own for the Chiefs. But we can’t forget his past that made him a controversial pick in the 2016 draft.
It was a highly-contested draft choice. Many criticized the Kansas City Chiefs for drafting a player with a history of domestic violence. Some said his talent was too great to waste and he deserved a second chance.
There was proof of abuse. Tyreek Hill pleaded guilty in August 2015 to punching and choking his pregnant girlfriend in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
But even after that, Kansas City felt that Hill, 22, was worth the risk. As domestic violence has finally come to the forefront of the minds of NFL teams, players, and fans, every move that a team makes involving a player with a past like Hill’s comes under public scrutiny. Just ask the New York Giants.
Everybody has their own opinion about the NFL’s mishaps with domestic violence. Some will never embrace Hill because of his past, and that is certainly a valid viewpoint. However, most would agree that Hill is starting to become a valuable asset for the Chiefs’ offense, like him or not.
The rookie out of West Alabama brings speed and agility to an offense that sometimes lacks an “explosive” factor. When Hill catches the ball, he poses a challenge to the defense. It can be hard to tackle the wide receiver.
He finally had his breakthrough moment in Sunday’s win against the Saints. Hill caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from Alex Smith, his second score of the year. He got ahead of the defender as the ball approached the end zone and came down with this tremendous one-handed catch:
Some have compared Hill to Tavon Austin of the Los Angeles Rams. I’ve seen Austin. He’s fast, that’s for sure. The two are very similar in style. However, I can’t think of anyone faster than Hill on a football field.
Hill is beginning to build that all-important relationship with Smith. When talking about Hill’s one-handed catch in Sunday’s postgame press conference, Reid said that Hill and Smith “spent a little time on that play.”
“They stayed out [in practice] and hit a couple of those,” Reid said. “Time is spent on that and you just have to trust to put it up there … You put it up and you bank that he’s going to go get it.”
And Hill did just that, he went up there and got the football. He’s beginning to demand respect from opponents, especially in special teams play.
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Chiefs fans are still waiting for Hill to take a punt return to the end zone and not have it called back on a penalty. He’s got the ability to do it, it’s just a matter of time.
What’s so unique about Hill is that he can make a play in so many different facets of the game. He has mattered on offense (both passing and rushing game), kickoff and punt returns. Heck, even special teams coverage as a gunner (He’s made some mean tackles on punt return coverage!).
The time’s come for Hill to make an impact with the Chiefs, and it’s nice to see him on that track. It wasn’t an easy draft choice for the Kansas City front office to make – they knew what they were doing in more ways than one.
No one can excuse what Hill did. He got a second chance, and now he’s making the most of it. He’s starting to prove his worth.
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