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View Full Version : A positive Tony Hills thread - one year later



steeler_fan_in_t.o.
08-22-2011, 05:20 PM
I find it funny that everyone seems so shocked that Tony Hills is pushing for a roster spot - again.

Let me take you all back one year ago to the pre season, and the annual "Tony Hills should be cut immediately" watch.

Suddenly he began a very solid camp and looked very strong - albeit against backups - in the first couple of Summer games. I began a thread then entitled something like "The first positive Tony Hills thread ever" and many also noticed how strong he looked in the pre season games.

Then the regular season starts, and due to having no position flexibility Hills only dresses four times all season and his strong camp is completely forgotten.

One year later the team is trying to find another position for him and seems to have found one. Suddenly, Tony Hills has gone from the scrap heap to possibly starting at RG. As it turns out, Hills came to camp in unbelievable physical condition - having gained strength, weight, and quickness during the off season. Everyone seems amazed as if this came out of nowhere.

I guess my whole point is that maybe after his strong showing last summer this should not be as big of a surprise as many seem to think that it is. I hope that he makes the starting 5.

BradshawsHairdresser
08-22-2011, 06:45 PM
I find it funny that everyone seems so shocked that Tony Hills is pushing for a roster spot - again.

Let me take you all back one year ago to the pre season, and the annual "Tony Hills should be cut immediately" watch.

Suddenly he began a very solid camp and looked very strong - albeit against backups - in the first couple of Summer games. I began a thread then entitled something like "The first positive Tony Hills thread ever" and many also noticed how strong he looked in the pre season games.

Then the regular season starts, and due to having no position flexibility Hills only dresses four times all season and his strong camp is completely forgotten.

One year later the team is trying to find another position for him and seems to have found one. Suddenly, Tony Hills has gone from the scrap heap to possibly starting at RG. As it turns out, Hills came to camp in unbelievable physical condition - having gained strength, weight, and quickness during the off season. Everyone seems amazed as if this came out of nowhere.

I guess my whole point is that maybe after his strong showing last summer this should not be as big of a surprise as many seem to think that it is. I hope that he makes the starting 5.

Maybe he has the position flexibility to play TE, too, and save us a roster spot. Wasn't he a TE in college?

NorthCoast
08-22-2011, 06:50 PM
I find it funny that everyone seems so shocked that Tony Hills is pushing for a roster spot - again.

Let me take you all back one year ago to the pre season, and the annual "Tony Hills should be cut immediately" watch.

Suddenly he began a very solid camp and looked very strong - albeit against backups - in the first couple of Summer games. I began a thread then entitled something like "The first positive Tony Hills thread ever" and many also noticed how strong he looked in the pre season games.

Then the regular season starts, and due to having no position flexibility Hills only dresses four times all season and his strong camp is completely forgotten.

One year later the team is trying to find another position for him and seems to have found one. Suddenly, Tony Hills has gone from the scrap heap to possibly starting at RG. As it turns out, Hills came to camp in unbelievable physical condition - having gained strength, weight, and quickness during the off season. Everyone seems amazed as if this came out of nowhere.

I guess my whole point is that maybe after his strong showing last summer this should not be as big of a surprise as many seem to think that it is. I hope that he makes the starting 5.

uh oh, hope he passes the random drug test...

RuthlessBurgher
08-22-2011, 07:02 PM
I find it funny that everyone seems so shocked that Tony Hills is pushing for a roster spot - again.

Let me take you all back one year ago to the pre season, and the annual "Tony Hills should be cut immediately" watch.

Suddenly he began a very solid camp and looked very strong - albeit against backups - in the first couple of Summer games. I began a thread then entitled something like "The first positive Tony Hills thread ever" and many also noticed how strong he looked in the pre season games.

Then the regular season starts, and due to having no position flexibility Hills only dresses four times all season and his strong camp is completely forgotten.

One year later the team is trying to find another position for him and seems to have found one. Suddenly, Tony Hills has gone from the scrap heap to possibly starting at RG. As it turns out, Hills came to camp in unbelievable physical condition - having gained strength, weight, and quickness during the off season. Everyone seems amazed as if this came out of nowhere.

I guess my whole point is that maybe after his strong showing last summer this should not be as big of a surprise as many seem to think that it is. I hope that he makes the starting 5.

Maybe he has the position flexibility to play TE, too, and save us a roster spot. Wasn't he a TE in college?

The Ravens (and other teams) always seemed to use a third tackle as their blocking TE on short-yardage situations. Since we never threw to Spaeth anyway (unless Heath was injured and Matt was starting), why couldn't Hills be both the backup swing tackle as well as the primary blocking TE. I think he'd be a better blocking TE than Gilmore. Put in Legursky as the blocking fullback in front of Mendenhall or Redman, and how are you going to stop a team with 7 o-linemen blocking at the goal line?

SanAntonioSteelerFan
08-22-2011, 08:37 PM
I find it funny that everyone seems so shocked that Tony Hills is pushing for a roster spot - again.

Let me take you all back one year ago to the pre season, and the annual "Tony Hills should be cut immediately" watch.

Suddenly he began a very solid camp and looked very strong - albeit against backups - in the first couple of Summer games. I began a thread then entitled something like "The first positive Tony Hills thread ever" and many also noticed how strong he looked in the pre season games.

Then the regular season starts, and due to having no position flexibility Hills only dresses four times all season and his strong camp is completely forgotten.

One year later the team is trying to find another position for him and seems to have found one. Suddenly, Tony Hills has gone from the scrap heap to possibly starting at RG. As it turns out, Hills came to camp in unbelievable physical condition - having gained strength, weight, and quickness during the off season. Everyone seems amazed as if this came out of nowhere.

I guess my whole point is that maybe after his strong showing last summer this should not be as big of a surprise as many seem to think that it is. I hope that he makes the starting 5.

Maybe he has the position flexibility to play TE, too, and save us a roster spot. Wasn't he a TE in college?

The Ravens (and other teams) always seemed to use a third tackle as their blocking TE on short-yardage situations. Since we never threw to Spaeth anyway (unless Heath was injured and Matt was starting), why couldn't Hills be both the backup swing tackle as well as the primary blocking TE. I think he'd be a better blocking TE than Gilmore. Put in Legursky as the blocking fullback in front of Mendenhall or Redman, and how are you going to stop a team with 7 o-linemen blocking at the goal line?

Yeah, baby!!! Add one Red Man (who can catch!), and we're unstoppable! (Whew, I just checked, David Johnson is a TE).

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
08-23-2011, 09:12 AM
Tony Hills is improved because of his increased physical conditioning. Hills was always known to be athletic but weak. If you want to see evidence to this just watch him in the preseason over the last couple years against Orakpo. His compensation for his weakness to anchor down against stronger rushers gave him bad feet. Now that he has added the needed strength and weight with decreased body fat...It appears he still has above average athletic ability for an OL. What I still noticed when he slid out to LT is the years of being overpowered has put a hitch in his kickslide and he still doesn't trust his technique. Maybe he & Koogs could weed out. Confidence in his strength & abilty could help him if they still see him at LT.

At G, with closed shoulders (confined area) his feet are adequate enough to recover in that short area when he doesn't trust his strength. After watching him though, as long as he bends at the knees and doesn't get upright...His strength is very good and he should start to trust it and refine his technique and hand placement to utilize his feet. I actually think he could be a very solid G if he can do this because he has shown some good pulling ability and pretty darn good getting to the 2nd level. If he could get his pad level low when he contacts a defender when pulling...That 330 pounds moving could be a very good asset coming from the right side. I can't believe I'm saying this, but the new stronger Hills has shown a little upside now if Koogs can tweak his technique. He now has the body of an NFL caliber OL.

BradshawsHairdresser
08-23-2011, 09:39 AM
Hills on guard for Steelers

By Teresa Varley - Steelers.com

Posted Aug 21, 2011

Steelers players were off this past Friday, a chance to rest up after playing the Philadelphia Eagles the night before. Only a handful of them stopped by the team’s practice facility to get a quick workout in, before heading out.

But late in the afternoon Tony Hills wandered in, met briefly with offensive line coach Sean Kugler and then settled in to the team meeting room to watch game film. He didn’t have to be there, but he knew it couldn’t do anything but help him.

“You want to see the things you do well and the things you didn’t do well and correct them when you get on the field,” said Hills. “You don’t build a house without a plan. I am trying to be the best I can be at guard, but I have to start laying the foundation, not just physically but mentally. Me being a visual learner I get to see what I mess up so I can fix it and the things I do right I store them in the bank and go out and try to repeat them.”

The coaching staff was heading in to a meeting when Hills arrived, so he was on his own to watch film. Well, almost. His wife Brittany was with him, so instead of her just hanging out and waiting for him, she sat right beside him and as Hills watched and took notes, she offered input as well.

“She’s told me when I get tired I need to stay lower and stop playing so high,” said Hills. “I took that into consideration. Everybody is coaching me at this point. At home we watch film a lot. She says the same thing. When I come out here and get tired I hear her voice in my head so I try to work on that as well.”

Hills has a lot he is working on these days as the tackle switched positions late in training camp and is in a battle for the starting right guard job, along with Ramon Foster and Doug Legursky.

He started at guard against the Eagles, but it wasn’t for long, and not because of the way he was playing. Hills moved back to his natural tackle position because of injuries in the game to Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert.

“You never know with football. There are always injuries so you never know where you might play,” said Hills. “The prime example was the Philadelphia game. I practiced at right guard the entire week and didn’t take any tackle snaps and then I had to go play tackle. They are not going to say he didn’t take any tackle snaps, what are we going to do. They are going to expect you to go out there and do your job and I expect the same out of myself.

“I started out as a tackle here so footwork and hand placement change, but it’s still football. I went out there and battled and battled hard. I still have some technique things that need to be fixed. That comes over time with more reps, with playing. As far as effort, energy and physical are things I can control and I feel good about those.”

Hills was back to work at guard in practice over the weekend, having some moments where he wasn’t happy with himself, but knowing that it’s all part of the competition and the learning process.

“I am like a sponge right now,” said Hills. “I watch everybody. I watch the young guys, the older guys. I try to pick up on little things. I just want to be the best and to do that you have to come out on the field and put it to work.

“I am a competitor and I am going to go out there and compete each week. Right now I have an opportunity to start and I want to take it and run with it. I want to be the best. I want to keep working.”

While the desire to win that starting job is the prime motivator for Hills, who has seen action in only four games over his first three seasons, there is something else that is pushing him and giving him that sense of urgency. The Hills are expecting their first child, and he knows it’s not just his teammates who will soon depend on him, but also a new baby.

“First it was just me and my wife and she was my responsibility,” said Hills. “When you know you are brining a child into this world there is more is on your shoulders. It’s my job to provide. This opportunity God has given me to play football, and right now at the guard position, I have to take advantage of it. I refuse to let anything stop me, whether it is fatigue, the learning curve or anything else. I am going to go in swinging, fighting, head first because that is the only way I know how to go.

“I want to let the Steelers know they drafted me here for a reason, to go out there and compete and be a great player here in the organization. It’s a tradition here, especially on the offensive line. I want to keep it up and have the guys be proud of me and they have another guy in the trenches willing to go to battle with them every week.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/ ... b84da21c61 (http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Hills-on-guard-for-Steelers/5b173ce6-a961-4ea7-82cc-4cb84da21c61)

steeler_george
08-23-2011, 10:34 AM
I am sure this move caught everyone off guard. There was so much talk (rumours) about Colon switching to guard, but eventually it was Hills. I hope he gets extensive snaps to see if he is truelly the answer at RG.

ikestops85
08-23-2011, 11:09 AM
I'm just glad we are talking about this guy being a possible starter. I had written him off a while ago. I'd love to see Hills win the RG spot and become a star.

Now if we could only find a LG ... sigh

costanza2k1
08-23-2011, 12:06 PM
I'm just glad we are talking about this guy being a possible starter. I had written him off a while ago. I'd love to see Hills win the RG spot and become a star.

Now if we could only find a LG ... sigh

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kemo cut and Essex start there until Williams is ready to roll.

Oviedo
08-23-2011, 12:42 PM
I am sure this move caught everyone off guard. There was so much talk (rumours) about Colon switching to guard, but eventually it was Hills. I hope he gets extensive snaps to see if he is truelly the answer at RG.

I think Hills is the preferred option over Scott and Foster. Obviously they view him as the better player.

BradshawsHairdresser
08-23-2011, 02:03 PM
I'm just glad we are talking about this guy being a possible starter. I had written him off a while ago. I'd love to see Hills win the RG spot and become a star.

Now if we could only find a LG ... sigh

I wouldn't be surprised to see Kemo cut and Essex start there until Williams is ready to roll.
I don't think the Steelers are anywhere near as down on Kemo as the posters on this board are.

costanza2k1
08-23-2011, 03:24 PM
I'm not down on him, just looking at it from a financial perspective. If they are financially sound and no issues pending then I would keep everyone I could for depth purposes.