FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Stephen Hill, in his second year, has been disappointing. Rex Ryan said it about the 6-foot-4 wide receiver he had to be talked into drafting, and later a chastened Hill agreed.
“I’ve been disappointed, there is no doubt because we see all the potential that this young man has,” Ryan said. “He’s got the speed, the size, he’s tough enough, he has courage. ... By now I think we’re all expecting, Jets fans are expecting him to take the next step and for whatever reason it hasn’t been there yet. Doesn’t mean we’re giving up on the young man, but we want to see it.”
Hill has 23 catches for 340 yards and a touchdown this season, but he hasn’t had a catch in two straight games. Early in the day, Jets wide receivers coach Sanjay Lal told Hill that his reps would be curtailed.
“Basically [Lal was] just straight up with me, that some things are going to be cut down,” Hill said. “But I’m still going to get enough reps.
There has been ample opportunity for Hill. Santonio Holmes came into the season with an injured foot, and the Jets didn’t hold over Chaz Schilens or Braylon Edwards from last year’s team, leaving Hill to compete with unknowns like Ben Obomanu, Vidal Hazelton and Ryan Spadola at training camp.
“In certain cases I do feel like I’m getting open,” Hill said. “But that’s really not for me to judge.”
Hill made the final roster, but there hasn’t been much production. He had one 100-plus yard game, in the first meeting against Buffalo, when he had 108 yards and a touchdown on three catches.
“I’m not where I should be,” Hill said. “And everyone has things to work on but I definitely didn’t expect things to be like this this year.”
There have been injuries in the receiver group during the season -- Holmes missed five games with a hamstring injury, for example -- but Hill didn’t pick up production. In 2012, Ryan told Sports Illustrated that Hill hadn’t been his pick during the 2012 NFL draft, but the Jets scouting department liked what they saw. Later, Ryan clarified that he was praising the scouting department.