I attended Panthers practice today to get a look at the new practice squad member, WR Stephen Hill. Practice viewing today was limited, so I focused on the wide receivers for most of the time available.
My initial first impression was that he was taller than I expected. He comes across as much taller than Brenton Bersin, even though the difference on paper is only an inch.
Hill chose 87 as his number, previously work by Dominick Hixon and of course Muhsin Muhammad.
Overall, he looked much like the other practice squad receivers King and Lucas. He had some drops, but caught most of the balls in drills.
One thing I did notice that set him apart was the amount of time Ricky Proehl spent with him. Ricky was sure to correct and adjust Hill's routes and techniques every chance he could, even after the drills were finished. It is clear that Ricky intends to get Hill up to speed quickly, and maybe erase some of the bad habits he has developed. From the amount of time spent, there were plenty of those.
Ricky went over with him not only his footwork and body positioning off the line, but also bursting past defensive backs before they can press.
So, overall, to me Hill looked like the other receivers that have potential. Mostly positive, some drops, and plenty of room for improvement.
The big question is this: Will he pick up what he has been taught from Ricky quickly, or will he need constant correction. His "coachability" will be the main factor if he sticks on the practice squad long term or elevates to the regular roster.