Tony Hills On Borrowed Time
You know second year tackle Tony Hills was not happy upon seeing his name on the inactive list for Thursday night's game versus Tennessee. What probably was even more painful was seeing rookie undrafted free agent lineman Ramon Foster was active instead of him. Hills has yet to make a game day active player list since being drafted by the Steelers in the 4th round of the 2008 draft. With an undrafted rookie swing man now ahead of him, the days are numbered until Hills is off the active roster. Head coach Mike Tomlin had openly said before the season started that he was not happy with the offensive line depth and that points fingers at both Hills and 2009 3rd round draft pick, Kraig Urbik.
While good reserve left tackles do not grow on trees, Hills is definitely not a good reserve left tackle. His strength and technique have been an issue since draft day. It is unclear if his dropfoot condition has resurfaced or not, but in one on one drills during training camp, it was reported that he fared very poorly. Not the kind of things you want to hear from a player that is one snap away from protecting the blind side of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
There had been talk of moving Hills to the right tackle spot, but it never seemed to materialize. Hills currently is considered number 9 of the 9 offensive lineman on the roster and will likely not make it to the end of the year if he does not improve very fast in mid week practices. Other teams across the NFL are constantly juggling rosters because of injuries and needs, and as soon as a veteran left tackle surfaces that Tomlin can live with, Hills will be out the door.
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