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Rookie diary: I love the fourth quarter


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

My mom cooked and I had a couple of teammates over for Thanksgiving. A couple of my fellow running backs, Giovani Bernard and James Wilder Jr.  And wide receiver James Wright, my teammate at LSU.

If I was back home at my Grandma's in Baton Rouge, we would have had a full feast, we would have had everything, probably too much. But I was kind of missing home and we had Louisiana Gumbo.

At LSU we played the Friday after Thanksgiving and I was with the team, so this was the first one with my mom in a while and that was nice. My Grandma still had her dinner back home. She had seven kids, so I've got a lot of cousins.  We had a good time Thursday and we relaxed and watched some football after we practiced in the morning.

We're probably in the only division in the NFL that you can arguably say it can change every game. Maybe in the NFC West.  You can lose and be in last place and if you continue to win, you stay in first. I haven't seen anything like this before. It's crazy. I'm not used to it. It definitely helps your preparation. Because you can't take any week off no matter the opponent. I think a lot of teams, knowing they've got a good cushion in first place, they can kind of lay back a little bit. When you're in first place and you lose ground, you have to really bring it every week.

They talk about hitting the rookie wall about this time in the season, but I'm just out there in practice running around and having fun. Early in the season I wasn't getting a lot of carries and that's coming into play right now. I'm real fresh. I'm healthy, knock on wood. I'm just having fun and playing my game. I'm going to continue to take care of my body, but as far as the change from college, there hasn't been a big change or a big shock to my body.

Gio (17 carries) and I (18 (carries) had good balance last week. I think the coaches are getting more confidence in me and splitting the load has been good for me and Gio. If you're getting 30 carries, the more and more you do that, the more you get worn down. If we can go down the stretch and mix it up and continue to put pressure on defenses, it will be pretty good.

I love the fourth quarter. I think that's what I take pride in my game and I think that's where my game can flourish the most. I'm a bigger back. That's where I bite my teeth down and just try to get it. That's the way I've always been. Even throughout high school. I just try to get those tough yards. I really like that.

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