Since Patrick Mahomes took over as the quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018, Tyreek Hill is fourth in the NFL in targets, behind only Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, and former teammate Travis Kelce. Yet despite this hefty usage in the Chiefs’ offense, Hill wanted more.
In an interview with Shannon Sharpe, Hill explained that although he enjoyed his time with the Chiefs, around the midpoint of last season, he started to doubt his future with the team. The star wideout was upset that his involvement in the offense would decrease from week to week, claiming that in some games he’d only get two targets, and that wasn’t as many as he would’ve liked. But the thing is, that’s more or less untrue.
Since arriving in South Beach, Hill has only had good things to say about his team, and especially his quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Hill even went as far as to say that in some areas Tua was preferable to Mahomes. Now, obviously, the six-time Pro Bowler isn’t going to say anything negative about the team he’s currently for, especially when they’re in the middle of a playoff push. However, Hill never shared this same sort of sentiment about Mahomes, despite Mahomes being regarded as one of the best quarterbacks in the league for the last four years of Hill’s career in Kansas City.
Hill only had 14 games with five or fewer targets with Mahomes in Kansas City. Six of those came in 2019. To be fair, one of those games saw Hill play only seven snaps, so let’s say five of his 13 least-involved games happened in 2019. Five more happened in 2021. Hill claims in his interview that he didn’t really get frustrated with his target share until the middle of last season, so where was this obsession with targets in 2019? Hill had the same number of games with five or fewer targets in 2021 as 2019, but now it’s a problem? I don’t get it.
Yes, Hill has only one such game in 2022, but to say he wasn’t getting used enough in Kansas City is laughable. Not only was Hill the seventh-most targeted player in the NFL last year, which would put him above the likes of DK Metcalf, Austin Ekeler, and A.J. Brown this year, but the Chiefs were also a very good team, prone to playing with a lead, meaning the passing game often became much less prevalent as games wore on. That’s not the case as much in Miami. Only four of their games this year have seen the Dolphins leading by more than a touchdown after three quarters. That’s a little less than one-third of their total games.
Through thirteen games in 2021, the Chiefs had accrued seven such contests. Obviously, your team is going to run the ball a lot more when you’ve already got the game in hand with only one quarter left to play. Essentially, Hill got upset because his team was so good, they would rather rest him than wear him out. That’s some super entitled B.S. right there if you ask me.
Ben Roethlisberger has talked about similar misunderstandings with his former receivers, as well. On his podcast, Big Ben talked about how prior to games where the Steelers were going to face bad run defenses or where bad weather was imminent, he’d talk to specific receivers and say “Hey, we’re going to run the ball a lot.” He claims he’d tell his receivers this on Wednesday or Thursday, several days in advance to get them prepped for what was bound to be a low-usage game. Roethlisberger claims that throughout the week, his receivers would always tell him things like “Hey, I’m with you,” “I understand,” or “I just want to win,” but when game time came around, they would get frustrated at their lack of targets.
The Steelers were one of the most top-heavy receiving corps for years in the twilight of Big Ben’s career, so the fact that his best receivers would get frustrated is just another example of spoiled receivers always wanting to be in the spotlight. Roethlisberger never names the receiver in question, but I think we’re all thinking the same guy. I’m not saying Hill is as bad a person as Antonio Brown, but I doubt he ever wants to be put in the same sentence as AB from a personality perspective.