Tyreek Hill had his opening press conference with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday, and his confidence is contagious.
Among the topics of conversation, an appreciation for Mike McDaniel and his scheme was prevalent. It’s clear that, after having a falling out in Kansas City, Miami was a place Hill believed that he could succeed at — or past — the level he did previously.
While it’s unknown what Hill’s role will bring in McDaniel’s system, it’s clear that they can both elevate each other.
McDaniel brings a new scheme, centered around wide zone runs and timely play action. Hill, on the other hand, brings an element of speed the league has never seen before.
However, it’s his gravity, and how that plays into the entire offense, that’s so exciting for McDaniel and the Dolphins. That innate ability is rarely seen in football. It’s so rare, in fact, that his best comparison might be NBA superstar Stephen Curry.
The Gravity of Stephen Curry
For those unfamiliar with Curry, the three-time NBA champion has the most three-pointers made in NBA history, and is regarded as the greatest shooter of all-time. He has made a living on making defenders pay, and his other-worldly skill has brought fear into those tasked with covering him.
“If teams are going to throw the kitchen sink at Steph, they’re going to pay”Steve Kerr (Warriors Head Coach)
Everybody knows that Steph Curry can score better than just about anyone in the NBA, but it’s how his play effects others on the team that makes him different.
Due to his ability to get such a high volume of points in a short amount of time (along with him being able to threaten any space on the court), teams instantly go for the double team (and sometimes more).
The ideology seems sound: stop Stephen Curry and, in turn, shut down the rest of the team. However, this is the exact opposite of the case.
By dedicating an extra defender to Curry, the rest of the court now has one less defender, leaving somebody open.
This now gives the rest of the offense an opportunity to be just as dangerous. Teams will go after the star with everything they have, which takes the ancillary pieces out of their focus. This allows said players to operate in a much less congested space and make big plays for themselves.
A Similar Effect for Tyreek Hill
This exact effect has transpired for new Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill during his time in Kansas City. Much like Stephen Curry, Hill has a generational talent, and while it isn’t three point shooting, it brings the same type of impact.
His speed, which has been brought up time and time again, brings the ability to attack any space on the field with maximum effectiveness. His long range as a deep threat is one of the most unique skills in league history. So much so, that it can only truly be compared to an athlete in a different sport.
A prime example of this can be found in the divisional round of last year’s playoffs against the Buffalo Bills.
Reaping the Benefits of Hill’s Gravity
This play, shown below, shows just how much explosiveness Hill has, and what can happen if he isn’t doubled. Buffalo comes out in a pretty balanced defense, not shading over to Hill’s side, which ends up being a big mistake.
As he comes over the middle, Mahomes puts a perfect pass between the numbers. After that, we see just how much of a game-breaker Hill is. When defenders believe that they have leverage, he finds a way to make them look silly and destroy their angles.
He does so right here and finds his way into the end-zone.
On the following possession, we see the effects of Tyreek’s big play potential, and how teams will give up big plays elsewhere to limit one from him. Due to his ability to make a home-run play at any point, Buffalo lines up way too deep.
Kansas City is running low on time, but this is too much room for Mahomes to work, and it’s clear that this defense was called in response to Hill’s generational speed.
By lining up their defensive backs deep, Buffalo was unable to account for the middle of the field. Thus, Kansas City was able to take advantage of matchups, which left Travis Kelce with too much room to work. This put Kansas City deeper into field goal range and was a crucial play in pushing the game to overtime.
Without Hill’s speed and explosiveness, the prevent defense likely isn’t called. This begins a domino effect that likely ends with Kansas City losing this game. Thus, likely ending their playoff run a round early. It’s clear that the gravity Hill attracts is extremely important and brings great potential to Miami.
The Bottom Line on Tyreek Hill and his Gravity
Miami has one of the best young cores in the NFL now. Behind Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, and Cedrick Wilson, there are several players capable of having big games.
The probability of doing so has just gone up. Tyreek Hill will continue to draw the best defenders, with teams often coming out in preventative defenses with two-high safeties or double teams. As it did in Kansas City, the surrounding pieces will be too much to handle.
The gravity that Hill brings simply isn’t matched by any NFL player, and his generational talent, similar to Stephen Curry’s, will do wonders for the Dolphins’ offense.
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