Among all the records that exist in the NFL, 2,000 yards in a single season stands out among the crowd. There have only been eight running backs in league history to accumulate 2,000 yards on the ground in a single season. Hitting that benchmark presents multiple rewards coming in various forms, like nicknames (CJ2K for Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson), new contracts, hardware (Offensive Player of the Year and MVP awards), and immortality (four of the eight are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame with Adrian Peterson a lock to join that group one day).
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hills proclaimed he will hit the mark in receiving yards, something that has never been done in NFL history.
"I will break 2,000 yards next year, bro," Hill said on his "It Needed To Be Said" podcast, a part of the Vocal Podcast Network, in July. "2,000 yards was on my bucket list to get before I leave this league -- 2,000 yards and another Super Bowl -- and we getting that. Believe that."
Speaking from training camp this week, Hill doubled down on his unprecedented goal and explained how he'll reach it.
"The quarterback play that we have is amazing, as you can see Tua [Tagovailoa] has been delivering, I feel like, all training camp, and the way that our head coach and our OC design plays for us is ridiculous," Hill said on NFL Network. "My job is really easy; I just got to stay healthy, I just got to keep my attention to detail and just know where to be at on the field at all times for my quarterback. Then I'll be able to make those plays to get where I want to be at, which is 2K."
The single-season receiving yards record holder is Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson, the former Detroit Lion, who utilized an NFL single-season record nine games with over 120 receiving yards in 2012 en route to the record of 1,964. He averaged 122.8 receiving yards per game, 16.1 receiving yards per catch, while playing all 16 games and hauling in an NFL-high 122 receptions on 204 targets that season.
Hill's confidence in breaking that mark isn't entirely unfounded. He's a seven-time Pro Bowl selection -- every year of his career -- a four-time first-team All-Pro and 2010s All-Decade Team member who set career-highs in receptions (119) and receiving yards (1,710) in 2023, his first season with the Dolphins, after six years with the Kansas City Chiefs. That production allowed him to become the new record holder for the most receiving yards with a new team in NFL history, while his 119 catches accounted for 32% of the Dolphins' catches as a team, the highest rate in the entire NFL.
Crazy enough, Hill had the best season of his career and one of the best in the league in 2022 despite admitting he didn't really have a grasp on the new playbook after going from Andy Reid's Chiefs offense to Mike McDaniel's Dolphins offense.
"For me going into Year 2, it's all about learning the playbook more, understanding where Tua [Tagovailoa] wants me to be at on the field and how just everything operates," Hill said on June 8. "Last year for me was like a blur. I had to come, I had to learn the playbook, I had to get to know my teammates. And this year everything has slowed down. Last year, I was just out there balling. I was just out there just using all athleticism. Like, 'Here, Tua, I'm going to be here and we're just going to do that.' So this year should be a crazier year."
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While Hill himself should be in a better position to ball out in 2023 with a greater understanding of the offensive system he's running, his production ceiling is tied to the health of Tagovailoa. The Dolphins quarterback led the NFL in passer rating (105.5) and yards per pass attempt (8.9) in his first season with Hill and McDaniel, but he also suffered multiple concussions, causing him to miss five games last season. Those absences included the last two contests of the regular season and Miami's AFC wild-card round loss at the Buffalo Bills.
Between Tagovailoa's focus on training his body to bounce back better withand another year of building chemistry together, Hill is exuding plenty of confidence that he can hit the previously unattainable receiving yards milestone.
"I feel like I've got the right tools around me," Hill said. "I've got obviously the most accurate quarterback in the NFL, I've got one of the best head coaches in the NFL and also my position coach is a monster also. So just having those three things and me just keeping the same mindset each and every day that I want to get better and I want to break the record and I do want to break the record. So I feel like this is one of those years that I can achieve it."