Rod Hill

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Rod Hill
Date of birth: (1959-03-14) March 14, 1959 (age 55)
Place of birth: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
Status: Retired
CFL status: International
Position(s): CB
College: Kentucky State
NFL Draft: 1982 / Round: 1 / Pick: 25
Drafted by: Dallas Cowboys
Organizations
As player:
1982-1983
1984-1986
1986
1987
1988-1992
Dallas Cowboys
Buffalo Bills
Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Raiders
Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL)
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star: 1989, 1990
CFL East All-Star: 1989, 1990
Career stats
Playing stats at NFL.com

Rodrick Hill (born March 14, 1959) is a former American football cornerback in the National Football League for the Dallas Cowboys, the Buffalo Bills, the Detroit Lions, and the Los Angeles Raiders. After his NFL career he played five seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and still holds the career interception record by a player for that franchise. He played college football at Kentucky State University.

Early years

Hill attended Martin Luther King High School. He accepted a scholarship to the University of Iowa, where as a wide receiver, he felt he had few opportunities to prove his worth in the team's run-oriented offense. He decided to transfer to Kentucky State University at the end of his freshman season, where the coaches converted him to cornerback, to take advantage of his athleticism. He finished his college career with 8 career interceptions and was considered an excellent return specialist, returning 50 punts for 1,182 yards and 31 kickoffs for a 22.5 yard average. As a senior he played in the East–West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl.

In 2011 he was inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame.[1]

Professional career

Dallas Cowboys

After private workouts with defensive assistant coach Gene Stallings and being rated very high for his athletic abilities, the Dallas Cowboys selected Hill in the first round of the 1982 NFL Draft.[2] The team used him as a nickel cornerback and special teams returner, but struggled in both roles.

He would go on to have irregular performances in the 1982 playoff games. Against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was replaced with Monty Hunter, after he missed a tackle that allowed Gordon Jones to have a 49 yard touchdown reception, for a 17-16 third quarter lead. The next game was his finest moment as a Cowboy, besides playing a key role as the nickel cornerback on passing downs in a 37-26 victory against the Green Bay Packers, he returned a kickoff 89 yards in the third quarter, which led to a field goal and in the fourth quarter he also blocked a Jan Stenerud conversion kick.[3] Conversely, in the Washington Redskins playoff game, his goal line muffed punt contributed to the team loss.[4]

Hill continued to struggle in 1983 and lost the nickel cornerback position to Ron Fellows. Eventually his teammates also started to turn on him,[5] so the Cowboys traded him to the Buffalo Bills in the 1984 offseason, in exchange for a fifth round draft choice in 1985, plus a sixth and a twelfth selection in 1986. In Cowboys lore, Hill would become the symbol of the failed draft strategy of the Eighties decade, when the team took too many gambles.

Buffalo Bills

In 1984, he broke his lower leg in the second game of the season and was placed on injured reserve. The recovery from the injury took longer than expected, and although he had a chance to start a few games at cornerback, he was used mostly as a punt returner, until his release after the sixth game of the 1986 season.

Detroit Lions

Hill was claimed by the Detroit Lions, where he played in 3 games of the 1986 season, before being waived that same year.

Los Angeles Raiders

After the players went on a strike on the third week of the 1987 season, those games were canceled (reducing the 16 game season to 15) and the NFL decided that the games would be played with replacement players. Hill was signed to be a part of the Los Angeles Raiders replacement team, that was given the mock name "Masqueraiders" by the media. He went on to start all three games at cornerback and stayed a few weeks after the strike ended, before being released.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (CFL)

Hill signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League in May of 1988, where he became a dominant player. He was the team's starting cornerback for 5 seasons and was part of two Grey Cups championships.[6] He received CFL All-Star honors in 1989 and 1990.

He retired at the end of the 1992 season, with team records for most career interceptions (47), most interceptions in one game (5) and career blocked punts (8).

Personal life

Hill worked as a banker in Winnipeg and also managed a Wal-Mart in Orangeville, Ontario, Canada.

References

External links