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Rookie diary: cracking the code


(Another installment of running back Jeremy Hill's rookie diary.)

The more snaps I get, the more confidence I get. I'm starting to blossom a little bit. I'm starting to figure things out and the more I continue to play, the better I'll be.

The timing of the runs. Just how our offensive coordinator, Hue Jackson, wants everything to hit. Just the feeling of it. I call it cracking the code.

I think in high school I cracked the code my senior year and when I moved on to college it didn't happen until last year at the end of my sophomore season. Now I'm starting to crack the code here. Once I do and figure things out and know the rhythm of everything, I think I'm going to be very dangerous. 

You can see it when you crack the code. You start to pop some runs through there. You're starting to break tackles, starting to get comfortable. You're really doing a good job in pass protection. Guys aren't getting through on the blitz, you're picking them up. I think I'm 60 percent there. There's a lot of stuff I can do better. It's a long season.

I should have scored on that 62-yarder last week at the end of the half. It was a pretty good job by my offensive line. Everyone did great. Especially on the play side. Right tackle Marshall Newhouse did a great job. Right guard Kevin Zeitler. Center Russell Bodine did a great job passing everything off.

Fullback Ryan Hewitt had a big block in there. He was the player of the game in my opinion. He played outstanding. He doesn't care. He goes in there full steam ahead and he takes on those guys. It's one of the more underrated positions in this league. It's a dying position. That's not fun going in there full speed colliding with those linebackers. It's definitely something that is needed.

I think I set up the blocks, then hit it, and made the safety miss. The cornerback kind of saw it from the beginning. Normally those guys get tied up with the receiver. But he was press bailing out of there and had a good angle and made a good play.

The 13-yard run off the shovel pass in the first quarter was a little harder because my momentum was going one way and then after cutting back I broke a few tackles to still get the first down. That's what gave it the degree of difficulty. Breaking the tackles after leaning the other way.

I know there's been a lot of discussion about how many carries Giovani Bernard and I are going to get when Giovani comes back. I just don't think that's going to be an issue. It's more about the team. We really care about helping this team win. If we were 3-6 and trying to turn things around, maybe it would show differently. But when you're winning, you really don't want to change. You want to keep everything the same and keep improving on that kind of stuff.

There really hasn't been too much fuss about that. Hue has done a good job mixing it up and making sure everyone gets the proper amount of touches while keeping the fluidity of the offense.

For the longevity of your own career, I can see where a guy wouldn't want 25 carries a game. Just the way the running backs in the history of this league have been three years and out. Obviously you want to get to your second contract and have a successful career. Guys understand that going in, especially guys like Gio and I. We're smarter guys.  You understand that and you understand the way the NFL is going now. Ball by committee helps you as a player and it helps the team as well. You can get a fresh runner in there who has a lot of energy and a lot of tempo compared to guy who has carried it 30 times but isn't as explosive.

Last week was the first time I ever played in the Superdome and it was great being back home. A lot of people came out. I didn't get a chance to see everybody, but I saw my immediate family, my father and brothers and high school coaches. I got to spend about 10 to 15 minutes with them before I got on the bus after the game. My mom now has her own place in Cincinnati, so she's been able to go to all the home games.

It was good to get home, get a big win and do some good things out there. I just want to continue to do the things to keep the momentum. All that stuff sounds good right now. If you lose, it can go all away very quickly. I just don't want to have that feeling that comes with a loss. I try to stay even-keeled after a win, but after a loss I have to control my emotions more.

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