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steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-15-2010, 01:27 PM
There has been enough bashing of this guy to last a full career, but I thought that he played well tonight.

** Official disclaimer: Yes, I know that he was lining up against next week's Wal Mart greeter, but while he was wearing an NFL uniform this week I will treat him like he is a football player.

On the Redman TD he blew his guy four yards into the EZ. After that he provided solid protection for the QB whenever he dropped back, including once even pushing back a DB on a speed rush.

I was even watching him on running plays that were not to his side - although I'm not sure why I focused on him so much. Many of Redman's ineffective runs were up the middle, right of center. Even then he was finishing his blocks and was not allowing his man to get over close to the play and seal the cutback for the D.

Overall a nice firat pre-season game (just to keep things in perspective) for a much maligned guy who could help provide depth at an otherwise thin position.

Discipline of Steel
08-15-2010, 01:42 PM
Nice observations, thanx for the post. You are right that we need some depth at tackle so this is pretty good news.

hawaiiansteel
08-15-2010, 08:18 PM
Hills does look a lot better than last year, that's for sure.

Oviedo
08-16-2010, 08:11 AM
Hills looked better than Jonathon Scott which is what he needs to keep doing to make this team.

Got to say all in all I was not impressed with anyone on the OL. Not unusal given it is the first preseason game.

Ghost
08-16-2010, 09:12 AM
At one point the announcers mentioned it was time for Hills to step it up. Being inactive for all 16 games again this season was unacceptable. And it is. Unless he's dressing and they think he can be on the field and be effective in case of an injury it will be time to part ways with him. He's been around long enough to know the system and show what he's got.

ramblinjim
08-16-2010, 09:34 AM
:Agree Yup ghost, I agree. Would I like to see him become a stud right tackle for the Black and Gold, of course I would. But like you, I'm not a believer yet.

buckeyehoppy
08-16-2010, 11:36 AM
As much as I've tried to cave a hammer into Fatt Maxx's head over the years, the reality is that we'd be screwed if he pulled up lame and couldn't play. This is where the continued improvement of Hills, Foster and Scott are so vital.

There are 14 OL in camp and the Steelers will, most likely, only keep 9. That means 5 will be gone by the start of the season.

Three of the cuts are relatively easy to pinpoint: Dorian Brooks and Kyle Jolly are looking for a chance at the PS at best; Adrian Jones hasn't played since the end of '08 and is on a new team learning a new system, giving him two strikes before even stepping into the batter's box.

That leaves two more that have to go. One will be cut between Hartwig, Legursky and Urbik on the inside and one will go between Hills, Foster and Scott on the outside. My guess is that Foster, Legursky and, possibly, Urbik have an advantage because they can play more than one position.

That leaves Hartwig, huge contract and all, and Hills and Scott. If Hartwig doesn't beat out Pouncey, he is probably gone. The only real battle left after that will be to see who gets to backup Max. Since Hills has been in the program longer, he probably has the advantage. So, yes, it would be time to see what Mr. Hills really has. If he has nothing, that would be 3 years of development down the drain.

Steelerphile
08-16-2010, 11:41 AM
Usually a guy doesn't get discovered until he gets a chance to get into the lineup and play consistently. I have always kind of liked Tony Hills and I think he looks better than ever and I think he should be considered as a candidate to start at right tackle.

He seems almost as big as Max and Flozell, but maybe an inch or so shorter but I think he has better feet than both. People always seem to want Trai Essex to get in the game, but I think Hills has more potential.

ramblinjim
08-16-2010, 12:40 PM
Wasn't Hills a pretty good prospect coming out of the draft until he got injured?

aggiebones
08-16-2010, 04:03 PM
Hills was a TE before doing some damage to himself in college. He moved to LT in college since he lost his speed. But his size wasn't enough. He is worth a look, but I don't think he'll ever rise up anymore. He may rise up enough to get another contract.

I think we have shored up the interior for years. Next draft should be for a tackle.
Frankly, they should have taken Bulaga, I still declare. As much as I like Pouncey, I think we could have found a top end C later in any of the drafts. We've passed on good ones for years late in the draft. When you get an early pick like we did this year, you slide up a bit more and grab a T. Even as we didn't move we still had Bulaga fall to us. He will play and be good for GB or wherever he landed.
Unless we fail again this season, it will be hard for us to go find a T high enough in the draft. But we could have found a C late in the 1st. Ah well, that ship has sailed.

Shawn
08-16-2010, 04:38 PM
Wasn't Hills a pretty good prospect coming out of the draft until he got injured?

Hills was considered so talented that even after he broke his leg his senior season he was still considered one of the top OL talents in the 2008 draft. I remember some reading that they believed he was a first round talent.

aggiebones
08-16-2010, 04:49 PM
Not exactly. He did break his fibula, which cost him 2 games. He was considered a THIRD rounder and we got him in the 4th. He didn't drop due to a broken fibula. He was just a good LT, nothing overly special compared to other top LT from college (not compared to me) :)

The major injury was much sooner and was what caused the switch from TE to LT. I broke my fibula and went to the doctor 3 days later cause I had also twisted my ankle. Noone knew I had a broken Fibula til after the xray of the ankle. Its none weight bearing and would not have been a reason to drop a lineman from 1st to 4th. Maybe 3rd to 4th...which is what happened.

Shawn
08-16-2010, 05:14 PM
Not exactly. He did break his fibula, which cost him 2 games. He was considered a THIRD rounder and we got him in the 4th. He didn't drop due to a broken fibula. He was just a good LT, nothing overly special compared to other top LT from college (not compared to me) :)

The major injury was much sooner and was what caused the switch from TE to LT. I broke my fibula and went to the doctor 3 days later cause I had also twisted my ankle. Noone knew I had a broken Fibula til after the xray of the ankle. Its none weight bearing and would not have been a reason to drop a lineman from 1st to 4th. Maybe 3rd to 4th...which is what happened.

Per http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/prof ... ct_ID=1244 (http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/profile_display.cfm?Prospect_ID=1244)

He's widely rated as one of the top offensive linemen on the board, so there's no issue about how highly his talent is thought of. The only question is if he'll be able to overcome his injuries to succeed in the NFL and whether those injury issues will make the difference in him going in the first couple of rounds or waiting until the second day to hear his name called.

aggiebones
08-18-2010, 12:52 PM
I can't hit that link at work, sorry
.
He broke a non-weight bearing bone in his leg, the fibula, not tibia.
A guy from my college team broke his fibula in game 2 or 3 and came back 5 weeks later. Same injury. Finished the season and he played WR, catching 3 TDs late in the season, 6 weeks after the break.
He was mediocre to solid before the injury. The injury may have cost him a few slots. He was nowhere near a top T in the draft. Frankly, having seen him play a good bit being from a rival school, I was disappointed where we took him. Here's a ranking from that draft that I can open:

2008 - Offensive Tackle

1. Jake Long, Michigan
2. Ryan Clady, Boise St.
3. Jeff Otah, Pittsburgh
4. Chris Williams, Vanderbilt
5. Gosder Cherilus, Boston College
6. Sam Baker, USC
7. Carl Nicks, Nebraska
8. Duane Brown, Virginia Tech
9. Oniel Cousins, U.T.E.P.
10. Anthony Collins, Kansas
11. Geoff Schwartz, Oregon
12. Breno Giacomini, Louisville
13. Brandon Keith, Northern Iowa
14. King Dunlap, Auburn
15. Barry Richardson, Clemson
16. Tony Hills, Texas
17. William Robinson, San Diego St.
18. Franklin Dunbar, Middle Tennessee St.
19. Kirk Barton, Ohio St.
20. Demetrius Bell, Northwestern St.
21. Shannon Boatman, Florida St.
22. David Hale, Weber St.
23. Corey Clark, Texas A&M
24. Tyler Polumbus, Colorado
Heath Benedict, Newberry

http://www.draftcountdown.com/sub/Archives.php


That as it turns out may have been one of the Steelers worse drafts:
1st (23) – Rashard Mendenhall, RB, Illinois
2nd (53) – Limas Sweed, WR, Texas
3rd (88) – Bruce Davis, DE, UCLA
4th (130) – Tony Hills, OT, Texas
5th (156) – Dennis Dixon, QB, Oregon
6th (188) – Mike Humpal, LB, Iowa
6th (194) – Ryan Mundy, S, West Virginia
Mendi should be good if he holds onto the ball
Dixon has potential, but I didn't like what I saw last preseason game.
The rest in the trash can without much contribution. Lots of promise, little reward.

Shawn
08-18-2010, 07:48 PM
Aggie you do realize he had issues with a foot drop throughout college? Neurologically he has come a long way. It wasn't just the fibular fracture that warded teams off it was questions about neurological damage and many teams considered him untouchable. I do alot of reading around the draft and remembered reading alot of good things about Hills. Even after all the injury concerns many considered him 3rd round worthy.


From Steelers.com

COLLEGE: In 24 games starting at left offensive tackle, graded 83.21 percent for blocking consistency on 1,681 snaps…registered 131 knockdowns with 17 touchdown-resulting blocks, as he allowed just four quarterback sacks and seven pressures on 743 pass plays. 2007: Earned All-American first-team honors from the Walter Camp Foundation…member of the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy watch lists…All-Big Twelve Conference first-team pick by the league’s coaches and media…voted team captain and named to the American Airlines D.X. Bible Most Team Spirited squad…selected UT’s Outstanding Offensive Linemen and received the D. Harold Byrd Leadership Award…Dr. Nasser Al-Rashid Strength & Conditioning Award recipient…started the team’s first 11 games at the left offensive tackle position, grading 84.82 percent for blocking consistency, as he delivered 68 knockdowns with 10 touchdown-resulting blocks, as he allowed just one quarterback sack and three pressure.

The guy is a legit talent who has been plagued with injuries which has hindered his development. Lets remember this guy was a TE in HS. He is a young tackle with injury issues and a very high ceiling. That's why the Steelers have kept him around. If he can prove to the Steelers he can stay healthy, and play consistantly mistake free ball he will stay on this team. He also might turn a few heads.

Shawn
08-18-2010, 07:59 PM
Tony Hills College blocking grading 84.82 percent

Lets compare Hills blocking grade to the first pick of the 2008 draft Jake Long.

Long paced an offense that averaged 373.5 yards per game, despite key injuries that sidelined quarterback Chad Henne and running back Mike Hart for a good portion of the first half of the campaign. He would register 119 knockdowns with 18 touchdown-resulting blocks, leading Big Ten blockers with an 87.85% grade for blocking consistency. He would close out his career with 40 starting assignments, including a string of 30 consecutive starts.

Here is Ryan Clady

Ryan, at Boise State, after getting off to a slow start put together some very impressive performances late in the season. After the dust settled on his 2007 season he completed 122 knockdowns, and led the nation with 21 touchdown-resulting blocks. That was a grade of 85.77%. Clady played in the Hawaii Bowl, and after that game, he elected to go pro.

Jeff Otah

The winner of the team's Ed Conway Award in 2007, given to the team's most improved player, Otah garnered All-Big East Conference honors as a senior. He produced 101 knockdowns, with 13 of those blocks leading to touchdowns. He finished with an 82% grade for blocking consistency, allowing four pressures and 8 1/2 stops for losses.

Gosder Cherilus

He was named all-ACC second-team selection and recipient of the team’s Unsung Hero Award, Cherilus started 14 games at left tackle, helping BC rank seventh in the nation with an average of 323.9 yards per game passing, he registered 77 knockdowns with twelve touchdown-resulting blocks, finishing with a 78.0 percent grade for blocking consistency and also helped hold opponents to only 61 tackles-for-loss (fifth in the nation) and 22 sacks.


Are you starting to see a theme? Hills blocking graded out amongst a late first round pick. That's why I had seen several comments about him being a late first round talent but with huge question marks concerning his health. To say the guy is without talent is a misrepresentation of his abilities. It has never been about his ability. It's about whether he can stay healthy enough to complete an entire season.

1st and Goal--
08-21-2010, 04:49 PM
I'm only posting this reply because this thread title was in danger of dropping off the front page and the thread title is too clever to get lost--just yet. "The first positive Tony Hills thread EVER" Nothing could be truer.

I don't have any comments to make one way or the other. But it did occur to me that in the couple years he's been here the only things that I've read or heard about him that even might not be considered negative was stuff like----Well if he didn't have a couple broken legs or a dislocated back and/or shoulder whatever ---stuff like that then he would surely be something special.

I'm only posting this to keep this thread alive cause surely he is going to be watched very closely tonight. I'm only hoping that this thread title doesn't change after tonight to "The first positive Tony Hills thread EVER-----and probably the LAST"

Here we go Steelers Here we go!

ta ta ta=====ta ta ta

=====ta
=======ta

ramblinjim
08-21-2010, 05:44 PM
the o-line should get a good workout tonight against the Giants.

aggiebones
08-22-2010, 02:31 PM
Shawn, you are following a blocking percentage of players not playing like opponents.
The fact is that Texas had very light schedules recently, due to the Big12 being mild in comparison to the past. Nebraska, A&M and frankly the entire Big12 North were weak in defense. The Big12 had opened up at that time offensively, but defenses were way down...outside of Oklahoma. I'm not making an overly strong statement since I have no exceptional facts to back this all up, BUT I have watched him play. He was indeed a super star in the making and I already stated that it was his ORIGINAL injury around his freshman year that was the real culprit.
That being said...it is still a problem. And from your own site that could see from my home comp:

"OLT Tony Hills is billed to be a great athlete within the program, but he does not play with any explosion or have great mobility for the left side, and as a right tackle, he will always have a leverage and power deficiency."

He's got enough ability to be a hanger on and make some pay checks, but if you are expecting him to start at LT or RT, you will be disappointed.

Shawn
08-22-2010, 03:10 PM
Shawn, you are following a blocking percentage of players not playing like opponents.
The fact is that Texas had very light schedules recently, due to the Big12 being mild in comparison to the past. Nebraska, A&M and frankly the entire Big12 North were weak in defense. The Big12 had opened up at that time offensively, but defenses were way down...outside of Oklahoma. I'm not making an overly strong statement since I have no exceptional facts to back this all up, BUT I have watched him play. He was indeed a super star in the making and I already stated that it was his ORIGINAL injury around his freshman year that was the real culprit.
That being said...it is still a problem. And from your own site that could see from my home comp:

"OLT Tony Hills is billed to be a great athlete within the program, but he does not play with any explosion or have great mobility for the left side, and as a right tackle, he will always have a leverage and power deficiency."

He's got enough ability to be a hanger on and make some pay checks, but if you are expecting him to start at LT or RT, you will be disappointed.

I think if he can stay healthy he has a solid chance at starting...but obviously not this season. He looked very good again in his second PS game. I had my eye ball on him for most of the snaps when he was in. I don't know about explosiveness but the guy pancaked a guy and I didn't see anyone get around him. I am curious to see him play against 1st stringers that is for sure. And my optimism is cautious...but I'm excited by what I am seeing.

aggiebones
08-22-2010, 04:08 PM
Maybe for Buffalo. If he starts for us, then we are becoming Buffalo.

ikestops85
08-23-2010, 03:29 PM
Shawn, you are following a blocking percentage of players not playing like opponents.
The fact is that Texas had very light schedules recently, due to the Big12 being mild in comparison to the past. Nebraska, A&M and frankly the entire Big12 North were weak in defense. The Big12 had opened up at that time offensively, but defenses were way down...outside of Oklahoma. I'm not making an overly strong statement since I have no exceptional facts to back this all up, BUT I have watched him play. He was indeed a super star in the making and I already stated that it was his ORIGINAL injury around his freshman year that was the real culprit.
That being said...it is still a problem. And from your own site that could see from my home comp:

"OLT Tony Hills is billed to be a great athlete within the program, but he does not play with any explosion or have great mobility for the left side, and as a right tackle, he will always have a leverage and power deficiency."

He's got enough ability to be a hanger on and make some pay checks, but if you are expecting him to start at LT or RT, you will be disappointed.

I think if he can stay healthy he has a solid chance at starting...but obviously not this season. He looked very good again in his second PS game. I had my eye ball on him for most of the snaps when he was in. I don't know about explosiveness but the guy pancaked a guy and I didn't see anyone get around him. I am curious to see him play against 1st stringers that is for sure. And my optimism is cautious...but I'm excited by what I am seeing.

He has certainly been playing well against his competition so far so what is the problem bumping him up? I think that is a great idea. We need to let a couple of guys work with the first team. Dixon and Redmen being 2 of them although I think Redmen has the team made at this point. Let's give Hills a shot.

JPbucco
08-23-2010, 04:56 PM
Hills had another strong outing against the Giants. Maybe the big fella is healthy and ready to roll.

When he came out, I saw him rated as high as top 5 tackles and as low as 20. No reason to catfight about it now.

He's a Steeler so we root for him.

Discipline of Steel
08-23-2010, 07:27 PM
Shawn, you are following a blocking percentage of players not playing like opponents.
The fact is that Texas had very light schedules recently, due to the Big12 being mild in comparison to the past. Nebraska, A&M and frankly the entire Big12 North were weak in defense. The Big12 had opened up at that time offensively, but defenses were way down...outside of Oklahoma. I'm not making an overly strong statement since I have no exceptional facts to back this all up, BUT I have watched him play. He was indeed a super star in the making and I already stated that it was his ORIGINAL injury around his freshman year that was the real culprit.
That being said...it is still a problem. And from your own site that could see from my home comp:

"OLT Tony Hills is billed to be a great athlete within the program, but he does not play with any explosion or have great mobility for the left side, and as a right tackle, he will always have a leverage and power deficiency."

He's got enough ability to be a hanger on and make some pay checks, but if you are expecting him to start at LT or RT, you will be disappointed.

I think if he can stay healthy he has a solid chance at starting...but obviously not this season. He looked very good again in his second PS game. I had my eye ball on him for most of the snaps when he was in. I don't know about explosiveness but the guy pancaked a guy and I didn't see anyone get around him. I am curious to see him play against 1st stringers that is for sure. And my optimism is cautious...but I'm excited by what I am seeing.

He has certainly been playing well against his competition so far so what is the problem bumping him up? I think that is a great idea. We need to let a couple of guys work with the first team. Dixon and Redmen being 2 of them although I think Redmen has the team made at this point. Let's give Hills a shot.

Hills is getting a shot. If he continues to compete well, he wins a roster spot.

papillon
08-24-2010, 07:38 AM
Shawn, you are following a blocking percentage of players not playing like opponents.
The fact is that Texas had very light schedules recently, due to the Big12 being mild in comparison to the past. Nebraska, A&M and frankly the entire Big12 North were weak in defense. The Big12 had opened up at that time offensively, but defenses were way down...outside of Oklahoma. I'm not making an overly strong statement since I have no exceptional facts to back this all up, BUT I have watched him play. He was indeed a super star in the making and I already stated that it was his ORIGINAL injury around his freshman year that was the real culprit.
That being said...it is still a problem. And from your own site that could see from my home comp:

"OLT Tony Hills is billed to be a great athlete within the program, but he does not play with any explosion or have great mobility for the left side, and as a right tackle, he will always have a leverage and power deficiency."

He's got enough ability to be a hanger on and make some pay checks, but if you are expecting him to start at LT or RT, you will be disappointed.

I think if he can stay healthy he has a solid chance at starting...but obviously not this season. He looked very good again in his second PS game. I had my eye ball on him for most of the snaps when he was in. I don't know about explosiveness but the guy pancaked a guy and I didn't see anyone get around him. I am curious to see him play against 1st stringers that is for sure. And my optimism is cautious...but I'm excited by what I am seeing.

He has certainly been playing well against his competition so far so what is the problem bumping him up? I think that is a great idea. We need to let a couple of guys work with the first team. Dixon and Redmen being 2 of them although I think Redmen has the team made at this point. Let's give Hills a shot.

Hills is getting a shot. If he continues to compete well, he wins a roster spot.

He won his battle with Kiwanuka this past weekend, it may be time to start considering him for more than a roster spot, particularly if Adams continues to be unimpressive.

Pappy