Dolphins WR Tyreek Hill claims he doesn’t watch film before a game — he plays ‘Madden’

Tyreek Hill is a talented wide receiver, and there’s a secret to his success. While diet and strength training and practice all matter, those aren’t secrets. Hill’s secret is game film. The night before a game, he does something special with it.

He doesn’t watch it … or so he claims.

So how does Hill get to know the guys on the other team who will be trying to block him or take him down the next day? He uses a football fan’s best friend: the “Madden” video game.

This isn’t an unsubstantiated rumor or a story another player is telling about him. Hill discussed this with the media on Thursday, saying he uses “Madden” as a preparatory tool the night before a game.

“I just know the game of football inside out,” he said. “I’ve been playing this game since I was a kid, since I was like 5, 6, and I grew up in a football household. Plus, my dad was a coach. So I know every defense. I know every defensive line, what they are doing. I know everything. The safety is going to tell the story. I know all of it.”

“Madden has a good tell of how good players are,” Hill said. “So I just played Madden the night before and I go look at all the ratings. So let’s say for instance, they had Steve Nelson and Derek Stingley over there. Two phenomenal players, by the way. I just go get on Madden, I go to the EA rosters, then I scroll down and see what their awareness is, their speed is and their strength, and that’s how I get a good tell on them.”

That’s definitely an unorthodox way to prepare for an NFL game. So unorthodox, in fact, that you might wonder whether or not it’s actually true. Could you believe that Hill, in his first season with the Dolphins (after spending six with the Kansas City Chiefs), put up some of the best numbers of his career in 2023 after not watching any film? He hit career-highs in yards (1719) and receptions (119), finished ninth in MVP voting, fourth in Offensive Player of the Year voting, and was named an All-Pro for the third time in his career. All of that without watching film?

Aug 11, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) looks on against the Atlanta Falcons in the fourth quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill said he doesn’t watch film. But was he being serious? (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post believes he’s got some evidence that Hill was probably pulling everyone’s leg. There had been a lot of joking around as Hill’s son had been at camp that day, and teammate Raheem Mostert had also gotten in on the fun. Things had been light, but Habib discovered something once he read the transcript from the presser.

It’s only later, when looking back over the transcript, that you realize Hill tipped his hand via a throwaway line at the start. He’d been talking about the highs and lows of training camp. Of making mistakes and fixing them now so they don’t hurt you later. One such tool?

“You go to the film room, you learn from it,” he said.

Tyreek Hill is a man of many talents. He’s not just a star wide receiver, he’s also a world-class actor.