Tyreek Hill holds a place among the NFL’s top return specialists. But he’ll need a few more productive years to catch the production of the Human Joystick.
Dante Hall joined about two dozen other former Chiefs on Alumni Day at training camp on Saturday, and naturally the topic turned to Hill, who has been a Pro Bowl return man in each of his two NFL seasons.
“A lot of people compare us, but when I look at us, our styles, I think we’re very different,” Hall said. “Our paths were different,our skills sets were different.
“I do not have his speed. But he does not have my quickness.
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“I do not have his hands. I developed some OK hands, but I think he has pretty good hands. I know people like to make comparisons but I see a lot of differences in our games.”
Let’s break it down.
In seven seasons with the Chiefs (2000-06), Hall set several team records and still holds marks for career kickoff returns (six) and punt returns (five) for touchdowns. In 2003, he set an NFL record by returning a kickoff or punt for a touchdown in four straight games.
That stretch includes the incredible 93-yard punt return against the Broncos when it appeared he was twice trapped inside the 10.
Hall’s Kansas City career averages: 24 yards per kick return, 10 per punt return.
Hall is the Chiefs’ record-holder for career combined yards (return and from scrimmage) with 12,356. He was named to the return specialist spot on the Pro Football Hall of Fame team of the 2000s.
But Hill is coming fast. In two seasons, he’s returned three punts and one kickoff for a touchdown. Hill’s career averages: 27.4 per kick return, 12.4 on punt returns.
Hill also had a huge game against the Broncos, when he scored touchdowns by returning a free kick, rushing and receiving in 2016.
After logging both duties as a rookie, Hill only returned punts last season, and that appears to be his role with the Chiefs in 2018.
Hall said he will start a sports podcast next month called Sports Rapture — “It going to be Chiefs on the rocks with a splash of everything else” — and was planning on interviewing Hill on Saturday.
“I might even race him,” Hall said.
One common thread between the speedsters is their draft positions. Hall was taken in Chiefs in the fifth round in 2000. Hill was selected in fifth round in 2016.
If he eventually passes the torch to the Hill as the franchise’s greatest return specialist, Hall said it will be in good hands.
“If you think he’s just a speed guy, you don’t know football or your eyes are deceiving you,” Hall said. “I see a lot more in this kid. He’s tough. He has quickness, he has great vision and a feel for the game as well.”