Shaun Hill sees a lot of himself in Kellen Moore

Posted Jun 5, 2012

Lions backup quarterback Shaun Hill can see a lot of himself in rookie Kellen Moore. Like Moore in 2012, Hill was an undrafted free agent in 2002. Also like Moore, Hill heard more about his lack of arm strength and the things he couldn’t do on a football field than those things he could do.

Hill signed an undrafted rookie free agent contract with the Vikings following the 2002 NFL Draft and earned a roster spot out of camp. He toiled for three years at the bottom of the depth chart without ever playing in a regular season game. In fact, Hill played in just one regular season game his first five seasons in the league.

The opportunity for Hill to play came with the 49ers in 2007 and he made the most of that chance by guiding the 49ers to victories in two starts that year with five touchdowns and one interception. Hill is now a 10-year veteran with 39 career touchdowns and 23 interceptions.

Moore is college football’s all-time winningest quarterback (50-3), but NFL scouts were turned off by his lack of arm strength and below-average size for the position. Because of those traits, he went undrafted in April’s draft and signed a rookie free agent deal with the Lions shortly after the conclusion of the draft.

“I can definitely relate,” Hill said of Moore. “I think Kellen and I have some of the same attributes.”

Lions offensive coordinator Scott Linehan held the same role with the Vikings in 2002 when Hill joined that quarterback group as a rookie. Hill said Linehan was instrumental in his development and thinks he might have the same effect on Moore now with the Lions.

“When I was in Minnesota, I had Scott (Linehan) and he was tremendous for my development," Hill said. "Then my fourth year I had (quarterback) Brad Johnson – Scott was gone (to the Dolphins) – and Brad and I played a more similar game than the other guys who were around. I learned a lot just from watching him play.”

Moore says he’s already learning from Hill.

“I think it’s just nice to have a guy in the room who’s taken the path that you certainly want to have an opportunity to pursue,” Moore said. “He’s a great example, obviously. He showed he can do it and he’s done it for a long time.”

Like Hill, Moore will likely start his career as the third-string quarterback for the Lions, but it’s really in a perfect situation for him. He isn’t going to be rushed into action and can learn from one of the best in the game in Stafford, and a player in Hill, who took the same route to the NFL and ran with it.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better situation,” Moore said. “Those two (Stafford and Hill) are awesome. They are good guys and two guys that are great to learn from.”

Hill says he sees a lot of his younger self in Moore and a lot of the same attributes that allowed him to carve out a nice NFL career.

“I’ve been very impressed,” Hill said of Moore. “He’s got great accuracy and he’s very cerebral and very smart. The way I look at it is he’s consistent. When you’re guys like us, you have to be consistent. The way I see it, he’s definitely been that.”