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Quick Takes on Seahawks' win over Bears: Evaluating DT Jordan Hill

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Despite few "wow" plays, second-year defensive tackle Jordan Hill may benefit from mediocre defensive line depth.

Otto Greule Jr

Although I am limiting my comments to the Bears game, little would change if we broadened the scope to include the other two pre-season games. Jordan Hill hasn't done much to impress.

What I liked least about his play against the Bears (who by the way are going to score a TON of points if everyone stays healthy) is that he didn't play with much power. He spent a good number of his snaps on the ground. As I re-watched the game with an eye on Hill, I noticed that he wasn't getting rag-dolled as much as yanked down to the ground.

On at least two plays I can recall him sort of sliding down the offensive lineman's front. Hill comes out of his stance on pass plays in good shape, but he appears to routinely get out over his feet causing him to run himself into the ground like Maggie Simpson. In this game Hill was waist-bending, trying to beat his man without bringing his feet to the fight. It was not a good look. By leading with his top half he robbed himself of power and balance. I don't recall this being a problem for him last season, but it may have been. We just didn't get to see that much from him in 2013.

Despite that, I still have some faith in Hill's ability to develop into useful rotational depth at the NT and 3T. He has a trait that I know the defensive staff values, just thinking back to their USC defensive linemen: Hill is a very good hand fighter, a quality that too few interior defensive linemen develop. I also saw a decent assortment of pass rush moves: an arm over (swim), a club, a spin. He's quick enough off the snap that Clint McDonald production is not out of the question.

But right now, Hill's mind and spirit are going north and south. He seems like an inexperienced boxer just trying to throw all of his moves at his opponent all at the same time. As a result he's coming out of his stance and lunging too often. Whether he's trying to lock on, use a swim or club, or spin, he's not engaging his opponent first with an initial violent attack then countering off that action. He's leading with a litany of moves against a lineman who is not threatened. That allows the lineman to just sit back, anchor, and let Hill run himself into the ground. In Hill's defense, he also flashed some nice sequences where he made good moves only to end up  on the backside of the play. He's a hustler, so he brings quality backside pursuit.

Like most, I don't anticipate that the front office will give up on this kid this off-season. Of course, you never know. If anything, the team really needs Hill to step up be a consistent contributor. Can't do that on the ground.