After an offseason of Baltimore Ravens players being arrested and battling legal problems, and a day after the two-game Ray Rice suspension was handed down by the NFL, Will Hill was signed to add depth to the defensive backfield. Hey, when you are running a player / lifestyle recovery outfit, why not make the most of the group rate and add a few more from other places?
Hill is talented. Really, how many guys can say that at age 24 they have been suspended three times by the NFL for substance violations? Hill will have to miss the first six games of the 2014 season. He served time on suspension in 2013 for the first four games of the season, and also was gone for four games in 2012. So that is 14 games in three years. Talent.
Seriously, I jest. I really do. I am all for redemption for those who are genuinely interested in turning their lives around. Alcohol, marijuana, and other substances are too big in our culture and lead to a great many problems in the lives of a great many people. One would have to think that the Ravens are going to be all over these issues and addressing this theme this year. Will Hill met with Ozzie Newsome, and I would trust that this will be perhaps the best opportunity in this man’s young life to turn a corner.
Thanks to everyone for the tweets much appreciated #letsgoRavens
— Will Hill (@WillThrill25) July 25, 2014
His talent is very high. Regarded by many as among the best safeties in the league (playing for the Giants), he could at some point make a daunting combination when paired with Matt Elam. Hill excels in deep coverage. In his 12 games last year, he registered 77 tackles while also getting two interceptions, one TD, and two forced fumbles.
The presumptive starter at free safety for the coming season is Darian Stewart. The fifth-year player is coming from the Rams, and we tend to think of him as older than just 25. The argument for Stewart as the starter is presented well HERE. His career has been hampered throughout with hamstring injuries.
At the same time, the Ravens drafted a very talented safety in the third round by taking Terrence Brooks – who is already age 23. Brooks is going to be on the team; but what will be the nature of his learning curve?
So, heading into a season with an injury-prone presumptive starter and a rookie, if you were Ozzie Newsome, wouldn’t you take a chance on a reclamation project like Will Hill? Maybe the Wizard strikes again!
(Note – Hill will be able to practice with the Ravens throughout the training camp and preseason.)