When I was growing up, I was a huge fan of those Warren Moon-led Houston Oiler teams. They were tons of fun to watch with the run-and-shoot offense. First it was Lorenzo White in the backfield, but that gave way to the Gary Brown version. It was a show almost every Sunday.
And who can forget all the great wide receivers they had? Haywood Jeffires, Ernest Givins, Drew Hill, Curtis Duncan and even Gary Wellman. But now, one of them is gone. Rushed to an Atlanta hospital Friday with two massive strokes, Hill died last night at the age of 54.
He was one of the most popular Oilers from those teams.
“I’m shocked,” Moon said. “I can’t believe it. Drew meant so much to us as a player and as a person. I counted on him so much. He was the consummate professional. It’s just so sad.
“Drew was a great receiver, one who knew the offense and was always in the right spot. I always knew exactly where Drew would be. He had a low-key demeanor. He didn’t get upset. He was always cool under pressure.”
“I spent some time with Drew in Atlanta and December,” said Green Bay scout Alonzo Highsmith, who joined the Oilers in 1987. “I’m stunned. I asked him how he was doing, and he said he was doing all right.
“As a player, I remember Drew being all vertical. He was a great deep threat, fast but very smooth.
“As a person, Drew was quiet and humble. He never sought attention for himself. He was a great guy and a great teammate. We used to play poker at his house. We had so much fun. He’s going to be missed by many.”
Hill was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1979. He played there for five seasons before joining the Oilers. In 1992, he played for the Atlanta Falcons where he spent two seasons.