June 24, 2024

Hill makes a great play here, right up until the ball lands in his hands. Carrying the receiver, he undercuts and positions himself to play the ball. He drops it even though it smacks him squarely in the hands. Unfortunately, the ball bounces up, and the receiver catches it to score a touchdown. Hill receives a -1 for that despite having outstanding coverage and positioning himself to make a play with the ball. It’s a +1 if the ball strikes his hands and then only hits the ground. It’s a +2 if he manages to catch the ball. Instead, with one of his few opportunities, he is accused of making a bad play.

This week, Bengals quarterbacks coach Dan Pitcher has scheduled interviews with numerous offensive coordinators, including the New England Patriots, the Raiders, and New Orleans. Following Pitcher’s completion of an interview request with the New Orleans Saints last week, Ian Rapoport broke the story.

“The Bengals have an in-house replacement for Callahan as OC in QBs coach Dan Pitcher, but he has a full docket of OC interviews this week,” Rapoport wrote. “He has a zoom with the Patriots tomorrow, and at night, he flies to Las Vegas for the Raiders,” according to sources. On Thursday, he plays the Saints.”

After Brian Callahan accepted the Titans head coaching position, pitcher is the next in line to take his spot.

Head coach Zac Taylor and the quarterbacks he has tutored in Cincinnati over the course of eight seasons have heaped praise onto pitcher.

The Cincinnati Bengals rookie Dax Hill is having an intriguing and distinct start to his career.

Seen as the heir apparent to one of the two safety slots the Bengals were anticipated to lose in free agency the following season, they selected him in the first round (31st overall) of the 2022 draft.

Hill filled in as the third safety in case Vonn Bell or Jessie Bates failed to report for duty. But since neither safety missed a beat, Hill’s primary playing opportunities as a rookie came from the outside corner against Cleveland and the slot against Tampa Bay.

This season marked his first with the Bengals at safety as a result. It was an uneventful experience overall, with some aspects of his physique, attitude, and character that stood out as well as obvious areas that still required work.

With a PFF score of 51.6, Hill is considered low. Fans who wish to move on from him after his first year of starting have talked a lot about it. The point of contention here is not whether PFF is good or poor, but rather if the grading for these players—especially the safeties—is contextually lacking. Safeties are rarely used in plays, and when they are, the defence usually suffers as a result.

PFF assigns a mark ranging from -2 to +2, for both positive and negative excellent plays. Safeties will almost always receive a zero on most plays. The ball is tossed below, they stay above it, and someone else makes the tackle. Given the short sample size, all grades will have a significant impact on them. They find it difficult to make up for grades of -1 and -2 in a manner that other positions do not. Bates’s PFF score would fluctuate in part because of this. He wouldn’t have the chance to correct his mistakes if he mishandled the ball a few times in the air.

The second topic of dispute regarding PFF grading is that, contrary to popular belief, it is mostly outcome focused. A ball that bounces upward as opposed to downward can cause a grade to drop from +1 to -1. Let’s use Hill’s dropped interception as an illustration.

 

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