The St. Louis Rams are hosting free agent quarterback Shaun Hill on Monday, according to Jim Thomas of the Post-Dispatch.
For those of you keeping score at home, this is the second free agent visit the Rams have had with Hill since Jeff Fisher and Les Snead took over. Hill visited the team during the 2012 free agent signing period when the Rams were looking for a veteran backup at that point in time. He ended up signing a two-year deal with Detroit, and here we are ... two years later.
Hill threw exactly 13 passes during his most recent stint with Detroit, including two touchdowns. The key words for the Rams' attraction here are "experienced veteran." He'd be Sam Bradford's primary backup, and like it or not, Bradford's now got the "injury prone" label attached to him, which makes the backup QB position that much more important. But the Hill news raises another question for me, well, two more questions actually.
First, is this a signal that the Rams plan to go back to throwing the ball a bit more, perhaps a mix between the run-heavy offense they finished the year with and the disastrous spread thing that Brian Schottenheimer tried at the beginning of the year? I ask because Hill is much more capable of filling-in for a pass-heavy offense than Clemens was, hence his appeal for Detroit.
Hill was a Mike Martz and Scott Linehan backup, two offensive coordinators known for throwing the ball. He has a career completion rate of 61.9 percent (591/954) with 6,381 yards in 35 career appearances (26 starts). He also has a decent 41 touchdowns to 26 interceptions through his career. Interestingly enough, his career yards/attempt is 6.7, compared to Bradford's 6.3. Bradford has a career completion rate of 58.6 percent.
The Rams reportedly did try to make Clemens an offer to stick around. San Diego just made a better one.
A second question I have is how this impacts the team's plan to draft a "developmental" quarterback in the later rounds of the draft (if that was their plan in the first place and not just an assumption the media was making)? With a project QB, they'd still need a backup ready to step in and play should Bradford get hurt, so signing Hill or someone else still makes sense. But does this mean they plan to wait until the last day of the draft rather than finding a guy in the second or third round? It's not the most essential question, admittedly, just something that popped into my head.
And finally, thanks to Niners Nation for sending us this awesome picture of Hill from 49ers camp in 2009.