EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rookie wide receiver Stephen Hill has been learning on the job this preseason -- responsible for soaring moments, like a 32-yard catch from quarterback Mark Sanchez, and an interception when a ball slipped through his hands.
“That was just me trying to run before the catch,” Hill said.
Another lesson in the 17-12 preseason loss to the Panthers on Sunday night. The Jets are the only team in the NFL that has not scored a touchdown in thee games. Part of the reason is that Santonio Holmes and Jeremy Kerley hadn’t been available because of injuries before Sunday. But it's also because Hill is such a raw NFL receiver.
He had five catches after being targeted seven times, and gained 68 yards to lead all Jets receivers. He averaged 13.6 yards per reception. Yet the Georgia Tech product was charged by coach Rex Ryan with a drop in the end zone.
“It could have been catchable," Hill said. "I ended up timing it late -- some people say it was high, some people say I could’ve caught it, but other that that we’re just going to work on it.”
Hill got hit in the back and was out for a play, but came right back in the game. Afterwards he was not concerned about the injury. The drops, on the other hand, had his attention.
“I wish I had the drop back," Hill said, "but I’m still learning on catching the ball first instead of running.”