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Jets’ Wide Receiver Hill Confident He Will Make The 53-Man Roster

Underwhelming Preseason Suggests He Won't, But He Seems To Think Otherwise
Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill catches a pass and is tackled by Eagles cornerback Roc Carmichael, bottom, during the teams’ preseason game on Aug. 28, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill catches a pass and is tackled by Eagles cornerback Roc Carmichael, bottom, during the teams’ preseason game on Aug. 28, 2014 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Stephen Hill’s interviews are sometimes as perplexing as his play on the field.

Popular opinion had the embattled third-year wide receiver needing a big performance on Thursday night in Philadelphia to make the Jets’ 53-man roster. But that never happened. Hill was on the field for five of the Jets’ six first-half possessions, caught one pass, dropped another, and didn’t appear again in the eventual 37-7 loss.

In a training camp many viewed as pivotal to his future with the Jets, Hill finished the preseason schedule with three catches, 42 yards and several drops. His route running was hit or miss in both practice and games, and, as a result, he wasn’t targeted all that much.

Add that to two previous seasons that featured a combined 45 receptions and not even 600 yards, and it’s hard to imagine that he’s done enough to warrant a roster spot, let alone a starting job.

Yet, to hear Hill say it, he sounds like he knows something most everyone else doesn’t.

When asked Thursday night if he thinks he should be on the team when final cuts are announced by 4 p.m. Saturday, Hill told reporters, “Yeah, I don’t know why I shouldn’t (think that), but yeah.”

Yet when asked to explain why he thinks he deserves to make the team, Hill snapped, “Next question.”

Drafted in the second round out of Georgia Tech in 2012, Hill has become the personification of Jets fans’ angst. Since recording 13 catches, 233 yards and a TD over the first three games of the 2013 season he has done little to convince anyone he can be a productive player in this league.

Hill finished last season with 24 catches for 342 yards and that lone touchdown, and had just one catch over his final four games before a left-knee problem landed him on season-ending injured reserve.

Yet in the aftermath of yet another no-show Thursday night, Hill had a hard time understanding why a lot of people think he should be cut.

“Well, no disrespect, but that’s the reason why they’re outside and they’re not in this locker room and they’re not playing,” Hill said. “Other than that, honestly, that’s all I can tell you.”

For his part, head coach Rex Ryan seemed a bit uneasy about the Hill question. Taken within the context of the Jets’ reserves getting kicked around the field by the Eagles’ reserves, Ryan wasn’t in a good mood.

“All the talk of Stephen Hill or whatever — we gotta really look at this tape, and we’ll see if we have any(thing) one way or the other,” Ryan said. “I just think overall it was a poor performance. I can’t tell you really who jumped out.”

The Jets currently have nine receivers: Eric Decker, Jeremy Kerley, David Nelson, Hill, Greg Salas, Clyde Gates, Saalim Hakim and rookies Jalen Saunders and Quincey Enunwa. The Jets kept five receivers most of last season.

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