All-22 film: Good and bad of QB Hill

The Vikings found their veteran backup for Teddy Bridgewater. What does Shaun Hill bring to the table? His 2014 film shows his savvy in some instances and mistakes in others.

Shaun Hill was the first free agent the Minnesota Vikings signed this offseason who was not on the team’s roster in 2014. He was brought in be a backup and a mentor to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, and after being in the NFL since 2002, there should be plenty of things Hill can teach Bridgewater.

However, he has also never been able to hold down a starting position through multiple seasons, so there are things he is lacking, too. The “All-22” film shows both the good and the bad of Hill.

Play 1
The first touchdown shown here showcases the accuracy Hill possesses. There are defenders up top, as well as to the left and right of the receiver. But Hill is able to put the ball in a spot where only his receiver can catch the ball and allows his receiver to fall forward into the end zone.

Coming out of college, Bridgewater was considered to be one of the more accurate quarterbacks in the draft, especially in the intermediate routes. This is the type of throw that Hill is demonstrating here, so he should be able help Bridgewater improve in that area of his game.

Having a quarterback that is able to make these throws should also give the Vikings a sense of comfort in case Bridgewater is forced to miss any games.

Play 2
Hill has never been considered a mobile quarterback, and at the age of 35 he has even less mobility than he did in his prime. This next play, however, shows that he still has the ability to run a bootleg when asked. Not only that, but he is also able to throw the ball down field accurately while on the run.

Throwing on the run can be a difficult thing for quarterbacks to do because they are not able to set their feet while they throw. In this play, against the Washington Redskins, Hill is able to throw an accurate pass while on the run down field to a receiver that is tightly covered.

It is a difficult throw for a quarterback to make, and to have a backup quarterback who can do it so well is a bonus.

Play 3
This next play may not seem all that impressive, but it showcases a very important feature in Hill’s game. The Rams were stopped at the 1-yard line and faked a run up the middle in hopes of opening up the tight ends.

The play worked, but Hill faced heavy pressure from both sides and was forced to buy a little time so the tight end could get out from behind the line. A younger quarterback who may not have as much experience as a player like Hill may choose to scramble to one side and try to out run the defenders.

Hill, however, knows he isn’t going to do that and knew he just had to backpeddle a little bit to add a half a second or so. He then was able to throw the ball up and over the oncoming defender to a wide open tight end in the back of the end zone.

Play 4
2014 was Hill’s 13th season in the NFL, but this next play shows that he still has plenty of arm strength. Even at the age of 35, Hill was able to hit Kenny Britt in stride over the middle of the field for a 63-yard touchdown.

The thing that probably makes this throw even more impressive, however, is that he didn’t have much room in the pocket to throw. The pocket was collapsing in front of him, so all Hill was really able to do was take one-step and throw. That showed that he still has plenty of strength to get the ball down the field.

Play 5
Even though there are multiple things that Hill does well, he still will make mistakes. This was shown by the fact that he threw seven interceptions in the nine games he played in during the 2014 season.

The first interception here is one that Vikings fans will remember, as Hill was picked off by Josh Robinson in last year’s season opener. The quarterback was being pressured, but instead of just throwing the ball away, he tried to force something.

Robinson was sitting under the route the entire time, but Hill still decided to try to connect on the sidelines and was ultimately intercepted. This play came at a pivotal point in the game. The Rams were down just 6-0 and just forced the Vikings to punt the ball.

It was also under two minutes until halftime, and instead of going into halftime with the same score, Hill instead gave the Vikings very good field position. And that ultimately led to the Vikings scoring the first touchdown of the game.

Play 6
In this next interception, Hill has driven his team down to the red zone and then makes an ill-advised throw. He stared down his receiver from the moment the ball was snapped and never noticed safety Marcus Gilchrist underneath.

If Hill had thrown the ball a little earlier, it is possible he would have completed the pass and the Rams would have scored. But since he held onto the ball, his receiver ran closer to Gilchrist on the right side of the field.

Then, without being seen, Gilchrist was able to jump underneath the route and prevent the Rams from scoring.

Play 7
Although this next interception could have been caught, Hill still made a poor pass. It was a quick screen pass. But instead of putting the ball in the chest of his receiver, he let the ball sail on him a little bit.

This then caused the receiver to have to go up for it and ultimately tip the ball up in the air. The New York Giants were able to come down with the ball and stop the Rams’ drive.

At the end of the day, Hill is not likely to lose his team many games, but he is also not the type of quarterback that can win his team many games. Instead, he is the type of player that can come in and do what needs to be done in order to give his playmakers a chance to win. His acumen is the reason he is still playing in the NFL in mid-30s despite never being “the guy.”

He has 13 years of NFL experience, and experience in Norv Turner’s offense. This makes him an ideal candidate to back up Bridgewater, as there are multiple things Hill should be able to teach the young quarterback from experience.

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