Could Sammie Lee Hill Be Forced To Play Right Away?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

This morning, Tom Kowalski of wrote an opinion column, stating that Sammie Lee Hill may be one rookie forced into a large role early with the Lions due to the possible suspension of Grady Jackson. With Stafford, Pettigrew and Delmas all expected to be in various degrees of position battle--all expected to be huge parts of the Lions' future success--no one has talked about Hill playing a significant role any time soon.

Until now.

Here's what is certain. Sammie Lee Hill is a big big big boy. At 6'4" 330, he is hard not to notice. Other than that?

In the words of Kansas, "If I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know."

Hill is a unknown in the truest sense of the word. The 4th rounder out of Stillman had almost zero gametape on him prior to being drafted. Lions' coach, Jim Schwartz once complained that the only tape he had seen on Hill was a grainy amateur tape with a post from the press box in the way.

Some fans claimed they had seen on Hill, but all of us saw the same one, him jumping up onto a table in shorts. Not exactly telling. (I mean, maybe if it had been out of a pool or something)

The scouting report I put together on Sammie Lee Hill earlier this offseason reads as follows:
A developmental prospect out of Stillman College. He is big and very athletic—and very very raw. He's used to out-muscling opponents. Coaches will work closely with him to develop a football player where an athlete currently stands.
Yet, as much as we caution fans to wait for the pads to come on before making judgments, it could be the work in shorts that starts the ball rolling for Hill. Kowalski reports that Hill has done a "good job so terms of footwork, leverage, and hand placement. That is essentially the answer to the biggest question mark on Hill, fundamentals. If Hill can continue to use those skills with his pads on, he could definitely be the answer to the Lions' defensive line woes. Frankly, it's all speculation at this point. The athleticism and raw potential of Sammie Lee Hill is undeniable. We all know Kowalski is a glass half full type of guy, it's what we love about him. But, if he's right about Hill--if Hill is forced into playing time and shines, it would be a turning point for a franchise that is due. Discuss it in the Den!