Hill, Rams Ready for Sunday

Posted Sep 4, 2014

St. Louis Rams quarterback Shaun Hill is fresh and ready for the 2014 season.

As the countdown continues to the Rams’ opener against the Vikings on Sunday afternoon, starting quarterback Shaun Hill is as hyped up as anyone to get the season underway. And that’s especially because he is “The Guy” on offense.

“That is very exciting,” Hill said. “It’s certainly added fuel to the fire for me. I think, like everybody, I’m just optimistic about the season and just very excited to get it going.”

The veteran has been with the Rams since signing as a free agent in the spring, which has certainly helped in transitioning from Sam Bradford to Hill. The quarterback said that though he hasn’t changed the way he’s preparing, the time between the fourth preseason game and Week 1 has helped him to acclimate to the starting role.

“It’s been very beneficial for us,” Hill said. “The mindset, I’ve said this plenty of times but I’ve always kind of tried to take that same mindset that as if I was going to be playing. That’s the only way I knew how to prepare. So the mindset hasn’t had to change really.”

According to wide receiver Brian Quick, the team has not had to make many adjustments offensively.

“Nothing really changed,” Quick said. “I think we’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing, and I’m looking forward to this weekend.”

Wideout Kenny Britt said that part of what’s allowed the seamless changeover is the fact that most receivers had been working with both quarterbacks since OTAs. Because of that, Hill has been able to develop some chemistry with the Rams’ receivers, and they already know what to expect when Hill throws the ball.

“He doesn’t have as strong of an arm as Sam does, but he gets it to where it’s supposed to be so that you can go make plays,” Britt said. “And as a wide receiver, our job is to make the quarterback look good.”

“Everybody’s different, but as far as they’re concerned it’s all about timing,” Hill said of his arm strength. “No matter what the ball velocity, as long as you’re playing with timing, [and] the ball gets there at the same time for those receivers, then for them there’s no difference.”

Having played in the NFC North for the last few seasons with Detroit, Hill does know Minnesota’s personnel. That said, there are differences with the Vikings because they’re playing under a new head coach, Mike Zimmer.

“They’re a very athletic group and they play hard, they fly around,” Hill said. “It’s a group of players that I’m extremely familiar with. The scheme’s a little bit unfamiliar for me. It’s definitely a good group and they’ve been good for a long time there.”

And even though Zimmer has never had to scheme to play Hill in the past, the head coach strongly complimented the signal-caller’s talent.

“I think Shaun is an excellent quarterback,” Zimmer said. “I think he does a good job of getting the ball out in the right place. He sees the coverages well, and I think he’s accurate as far as going where he needs to go.”

The quarterback says he feels fresh and ready to go for the season, while recognizing how he now has to step up in his leadership role.

“The most important thing about being a quarterback in the NFL is being the same guy every day, being consistent and then playing with timing,” Hill said. “Being able to anticipate the open holes, and trusting your guys, and being on the same page with all of them.”

With the Rams’ bevy of offensive weapons and the practice time they’ve all put in together, there is every reason to believe Hill can lead St. Louis to a successful 2014.