When the Ravens signed former Giants safety Will HIll, there were some eyebrows raised.
Given the timing of the announcement, and the Ravens facing so much public scrutiny due to their players’ transgressions, it seemed questionable that the team would sign a player who is already slated to miss the first six games of the season.
But, perhaps the above information only further solidifies the real truth of the situation.
The Ravens organization has never been mistook for incompetent, and with the front office’s quality, they analyze each situation from as varied a perspective as possible. If after all of the baggage they’ve carried, they felt comfortable throwing Will Hill’s baggage on top of it all — to me, that says more about Will Hill’s ability than it does the Ravens’ decision making.
The star of the team according to Pro Football Focus was undoubtedly Will Hill, who’s+15.7 not only is tops on the team as whole, but ranks second in the entire league for safeties. Opposing quarterbacks only had a 62.0 rating throwing at him as he allowed only 186 yards in coverage. He hit hard and he hit often. He was not a liability in any way shape or form, whether it be covering the deep ball, playing shallow rover, or while in run defense. A true star in the making.
That is the sort of proven ability in coverage that the Ravens roster lacks. And if they are able to give Hill some guidance, he will repay them on the field.
When asked about Hill, defensive coordinator Dean Pees had this to say:
I know a lot in that I’m obviously familiar with the coaches on the New York Giants. I’ve talked with those guys in the past, even before Will Hill was available, and I remember them just having glowing remarks about him as a football player. When he walks through the door, he looks like a linebacker, and yet he moves around like a safety. He fit right in there.
These glowing remarks bely his inability to avoid trouble off the field. But the Ravens have shown in the past that they are willing to take risks on troubled players with talent. Most recently, they failed with Rolando McClain (though not a total failure, as they got some value in return). That doesn’t change the fact that the organization clearly feels strongly enough in their values to welcome players that others may deter.
Hill will miss the first six games, giving another safety — seemingly Darian Stewart — a chance to seize the role. But if Hill comes out of his suspension on the roster and in the franchise’s good graces, there is every reason to believe he will see the field. At just 24-years-old, he has plenty of growing to do — both as a player and person.
Let’s see how he makes out in camp, and if the glowing remarks continue. There is some comfort to be taken in the organization’s confidence in themselves, despite all the noise outside their walls.