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Rookie tempo: I have to prove I'm all business

Posted Aug 7, 2014

Another installment of running back Jeremy Hill’s rookie diary as he prepares for Thursday night’s preseason opener in Kansas City.

Another installment of running back Jeremy Hill’s rookie diary as he prepares for Thursday night’s preseason opener in Kansas City.

My roommate since I got drafted is James Wright, the wide receiver drafted in the seventh round and my teammate from LSU. He’s my road roommate, too, and it’s nice to have a former teammate, a guy I can trust, a guy that I can lean on. Every night we talk about practice what we did right, what we did wrong.

We talk about stuff all the time. About getting a shot. He didn’t have a catch all last year and he’s very excited about getting an opportunity to show how great of a receiver he is.  I’m sure he’s going to shock the world.

We watched the Hall of Fame game this week, trying to see what the tempo is of the preseason games and what the competitive level is.  I think it picks up for the regular season. I’d say it’s probably seven-eighths. It’s not a full 100 percent, guys just going all out to the wall. Guys are definitely playing hard out there. You just have to go hard, protect yourself, and have fun.

I’ve got to go all out.  I’ve got to prove myself. I’ve got to show those guys I’m about business. I’m definitely going to leave everything I have out there. I don’t how many snaps I’m going to get, but I’m going to play them all.

How it’s going to feel and all the great stuff I’m probably going to experience when I first walk out there for my first game, I’ve put it on the backburner. The closer it gets to the game, the more it will sink in. I’m not thinking about the game itself. I’m making sure I know my assignments, protecting the quarterback, learning installs.  In the preseason you have to focus on you. If you’re not ready yourself, how can you put the cart before the horse and try to learn things about the other guys? I think for me right now just learning our offense is the most important and everything else comes together.

I’ve gone against a lot of NFL caliber defenses. The Sabans of the world. Muschamp at Florida. I’ve seen some crazy third-down blitzes and in the NFL you’re definitely going to see more. I’ve got to make sure I’m ready for it.

I had a fumble earlier this week. For rookies, it’s easy to point out the mistakes. I just want to make sure that I don’t do them twice. Anytime I have a mistake, I really can’t hang my head. You just have to put it in your memory bank and not do it again. I’m a guy that prides myself on not fumbling. I had one my whole career in college. Yeah, it bothered me, but you have to have a short memory. Especially in training camp.  If it happened in a game, it would haunt me. I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep.

It’s common knowledge. You just can’t fumble. They didn’t really come down hard on me. It’s the kind of thing you really don’t need to say anything. I know that BenJarvus Green-Ellis has that great reputation for not fumbling. We’ve become closer since OTAs and we’ve grown to have a good friendship. I can definitely talk to him and get advice and he just asked me, “What happened?” Those things happen, but it’s a very serious matter.

My lineman’s back and my elbow hit together. It wasn’t stripped out. I relaxed and hit a lineman just trying to run through. That happens. I just have to have the ball tighter going through the hole.

 

I don’t know who is going to have to calm down whom Wednesday night when James and I talk.  We’ll probably talk a little trash because that’s kind of what we do a lot. But it’s just about being competitors. It’s what we do to uplift each other and pump each other up.

A lot of times we just talk about the position we’re in. A lot of times you get caught up in the grind. We just wake up, go to work, do this, do that, then go back home, and you don’t think about the opportunity you have in front of you. I think we may talk about that a little bit.

 

 

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