Rookie diary: beginnings and endings

Posted Sep 1, 2014

Another installment of rookie running back Jeremy Hill’s diary as he reflects on his 27 touches for 160 yards in the preseason finale and looks to the Sept. 7 opener in Baltimore.

 The biggest things I took away from it where my body is as far as taking the bulk of touches and pass protection. Running the ball and getting the touches is why they brought me here. That’s just natural. What matters now is getting in shape and getting used to the number of reps for the regular season.

Our aspiration is to get to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl and over a 16-game season it’s really tough for one back to carry the load. I don’t know how my body will hold up for the entire season with games like the other night. If it’s needed to be done, it probably can be done. But for the long term the backs are going to have to complement each other. It works for your body. Especially for a back playing in this division.  Hue Jackson has a great plan for us.

I actually wasn’t as sore after this game as I was against the Jets when I hit my shoulder. Your body gets used to taking hits. I think Carson Palmer said like week one in the preseason that he wanted to get hit because your body gets used to it once your body gets used to taking those hits week in and week out.  Our bodies are muscle, so once they get that muscle memory, my body is recovering a lot faster and I can take more shots.

Another big thing from the game is gaining trust from your coaches and teammates. A lot of that comes in pass protection. They’ve got to trust you’re not going to get the quarterback hit. That got me on the field at LSU when I was freshman. I was something like the fifth running back, but I kept working at picking up blitzes.

We had one communication problem the other night where quarterback Jason Campbell change the call with the MIKE linebacker and we just had a little lack of communication with the offensive line. We got it fixed. I  don’t remember giving up any sacks after that.

We got it squared away and on our first scoring drive on a third down I picked up a WILL free safety. Jason did another great job changing the MIKE and getting it blocked up. That  drive was the turning point of the game for us.

My phone usually blows up after a game and it’s something I really appreciate. I wouldn’t be here without family and a lot of friends. I get a lot of love on Twitter and all the social media. I’m back on Twitter (@jeremyhill33) after I deleted my account in college. I wanted to focus on ball and school and I started from zero around the draft. Now I’m up to about 15,000 folllowers on Twitter and about 41,000 on Instagram.

It’s a great way to connect with the fans. That’s why I took the selfie before they called back my touchdown against the Colts. We wouldn’t be here without the fans. Everyone likes to have fun. You never know when you’re going to be get back in the end zone again. It’s a great platform to reach out and show people you care. This opportunity won’t be here forever.

There’s got to be a happy medium. After bad games the fans are a little too hard on you and after games they give you too much praise. You have to find your comfort level and you’ll be fine. You can’t focus on it. You have to take it with a grain of salt and keep doing the right thing.

Around here, they wanted that back from Ohio State. I have doubters everywhere. I don’t really need any motivation. I think I’m a great self-motivator. I feel myself getting into that zone. Once I get into that mindset, I just feel like no one can tackle me. It’s scary. For me, it’s just about continuing to get better and the rest will take care of itself. It’s just stuff I’ve been hearing since January. You just get sick of it and put it on the back burner.

When it came to the cuts this weekend, it was heartbreaking. The veterans have seen a lot of guys come and go, so it’s not as traumatic for them. But for us, coming from college where you’re around the same 120 guys for a year, and they’re your brothers and you know they’re not going to disappear the next day, it’s shocking. I’ll never get used to it.

When we were in the locker room Friday, some of the rookie lockers were already cleaned out. One of the equipment guys went around picking up shoulder pads to clean. One of the rookies thought it meant he was getting cut and asked if he was taking my pads, too? I guess he figured if my pads were gone, it was OK.

It’s a weird topic. You really don’t talk about Some guys are confident and some guys just don’t know. I think that’s the most painful part.


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