Will Hill Impresses, Challenged By Coaches


The Ravens have some question marks in their safety corps as they look ahead to next season. 

Will Matt Elam round into first-round form? Will unrestricted free agents Darian Stewart or Jeromy Miles be back? Will rookie Terrence Brooks be healthy after a season-ending knee injury?

Perhaps the one known entity, to a degree, is safety Will Hill.

Hill is slated to be a restricted free agent this season, but Head Coach John Harbaugh spoke highly of him on Tuesday, and envisions him back patrolling in the secondary next year.

"Will Hill did [impress]," Harbaugh said. "He has a lot of talent, and it's something that we always knew. He also has a great love for the game."

Harbaugh  seemed perhaps most impressed by Hill's advancement from a mental standpoint. 

"He learned our defense throughout the course of the season, which it's not easy to do that," Harbaugh said. "We have a tough defense; we do a lot of good stuff back there. But he was running the show pretty well back there toward the end of the year."

An undrafted player out of Florida in 2012, Hill was an impact player for the New York Giants in his first two seasons. He started 10 games, made 77 tackles and two interceptions (including one for a touchdown) in his sophomore year.

He was released by the Giants, however, when he was suspended for the first six games of the 2014 season because of his third violation of the NFL's drug policies in as many years.

The Ravens, who didn't have a safety emerge in training camp, signed Hill and waited out his suspension. They gave him the starting job in Week 9 and he never let go.

Hill made one of the season's highlights when he intercepted Saints quarterback Drew Bees and took it to the end zone for a deciding touchdown. Hill had a strong game against Saints Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham. Hill finished with 41 tackles, four passes defensed and the one interception.

"It was a decent season," Hill said. "I reached some goals that I haven't reached before in my career – being here in the playoffs. I just hope to be back next year."

Hill will be back in Harbaugh's mind.

Before leaving for the offseason, the Ravens coaches have exit interviews with players. They challenged the 24-year-old veteran to improve as a player and stay out of trouble.

"We put it on his plate a little bit," Harbaugh said. "'Are you going to come back a better player than you were when you left here in January, and is that slate going to be clean?' We fully expect it to be. He just had a baby. He's doing great with his family, and we fully expect him to do a great job with that, and we're going to try to help him anyway we can with that."

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