ATLANTA, Ga. (AP)—Former NFL wide receiver Drew Hill, a two-time ProBowler who was a key part of the Houston Oilers’ famed “Run and Shoot” offenseof the 1980s, died at an Atlanta hospital late Friday after suffering twomassive strokes, according to his agent.
Piedmont Hospital spokesman Jim Taylor on Saturday confirmed the 54-year-oldHill’s death.
Hill fell ill on a golf course on Thursday and died late Friday aftersuffering the strokes, said his agent, Jay Mathis of Next Level Management.
A 12th round pick from Georgia Tech in 1979, Hill played for the Los AngelesRams from 1979 to 1984, for the Oilers from 1985 to 1991, and for the AtlantaFalcons for the 1992 and 1993 seasons.
“I’m shocked,” former Oilers quarterback Warren Moon told the HoustonChronicle. “I can’t believe it. Drew meant so much to us as a player and as aperson. I counted on him so much. He was the consummate professional. It’s justso sad.”
Hill had 634 receptions for 9,831 yards and 60 touchdowns, averaging 15.5yards per catch, according to NFL.com. He was on Pro Bowl teams in 1998 and 1990and played in one Super Bowl, Mathis said.
“Drew was a great receiver, one who knew the offense and was always in theright spot,” said Moon, who led the high-powered Oilers offenses that relied onfour-receiver sets. “I always knew exactly where Drew would be.”
“He was always cool under pressure,” Moon told the Chronicle.
Hill played 14 seasons in the NFL, and had 60 or more receptions duringseven of eight seasons from 1985 to 1992. He also had three years with 70 ormore catches and five with 1,000 yards, his management company said.
Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Munchak, the Hall of Famer who played onthe offensive line with the Oilers (now the Titans) as Hill’s teammate, said ina statement that his former teammate had guts.
“I played with Drew for a number of years, and he was one of the toughestplayers I ever played with,” Munchak said. “He wasn’t a big guy, but he wasn’tafraid of anything and loved going over the middle making big catches for us. Hewas made for our run and shoot system. As a person, he was a quiet guy and areal pro.”
The Newman, Ga. native recently worked as an artist and businessman, andremained active with the Atlanta chapter of the NFL Players Association.
“Atlanta has always been home for him,” Mathis said.
Funeral arrangements will be announced soon.
Associated Press writers Russ Bynum in Savannah, Ga. and Teresa Walker inNashville, Tenn. contributed to this report.