Linehan impressed with competitive spirit shown by rookie corner Tye Hill
BY STEVE KORTE
ST. LOUIS - St. Louis Rams rookie cornerback Tye Hill's first taste of the NFL has served only to whet his appetite.
"I'm looking forward to some more," Hill said on Monday at the conclusion of the Rams' rookie minicamp. "I'm actually looking forward to the veterans coming in like Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce in (Organized Team Activities). Hopefully, I'll get a chance to go up against them."
Hill and the rest of the Rams' rookies will be introduced to the veteran players during 17 light practices known as OTAs over the next few weeks. There's also the team's mandatory minicamp June 9-11.
"It was great weekend," Rams coach Scott Linehan said. "I think the rookies really responded. We tested them, and they passed with flying colors. Now the next test is to step in there and fit in with the veterans."
Linehan said he came away with a favorable first impression of Hill, the team's first-round pick in the 2006 NFL draft.
"What he showed was obviously the skill level that we're looking for, but what you don't get to see until you're around him is the competitive side," Linehan said. "He's a great competitor. He's got a great spirit about him. He's a humble kid. He's got a confidence level, but he knows he's got a ways to go.
"He keeps his mouth shut and goes about his business and improves every day, and that's what we're looking for."
Hill said he doesn't know if he'll crack the starting lineup this season, but he hopes to make an immediate contribution in some way.
"I have no control over that," Hill said. "I expect to come in and play. All I can do is come in and fill the role that is given me. If I don't start, I'm not going to be mad.
"I want to play, but at the same time, I can't rush it."
Hill said the most surprising thing about the minicamp was the fast pace of the practices.
"The tempo," Hill said. "I thought it was going to be more a walk-through type event, and it was more of a high-tempo, get-after-it event."
Other than feeling fatigued after the first practice, Hill said he thought he performed well.
"I thought I did pretty good for just getting back into football shape," Hill said. "Playing wide receivers, I haven't done any of that stuff since the Senior Bowl. I have an ample room for improvement. I can get better."
Two rookie linebackers -- Jon Alston from Stanford and Tim McGarigle from Northwestern -- will miss the OTA's because their respective colleges are still in session.
"We're in the same situation," McGarigle said. "We were joking that if you went to a smart school, they make you stick around and go to more school."
Rookie wide receiver Marques Hagans took some snaps at quarterback during practice Monday after Linehan gave quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jeff Smoker and the rest of the non-rookies attending the minicamp the day off.
Hagans was the starting quarterback the past two seasons at the University of Virginia.
"W e wanted to get him a chance to do that," Linehan said. "That's going to be his MO -- be versatile. He'll be playing receiver, and there's going to be times you might see him in the backfield as a running back. Every once in a while he'll take a snap."
Asked if he already had a few trick plays in his offense for Haggans, Linehan said. "I've got a few in mind. Of course, they're stolen from other teams."
Re: Linehan impressed with competitive spirit shown by rookie corner Tye Hill
Thanks for the article. Wow. How original. This wasn't by the STL PD.