(Another installment of running back Jeremy Hill's rookie diary. After his break-out game last week against the Falcons, people are discovering he's at home in front of the camera.)
I don't see the media as the enemy. If you do what you're supposed to do and you have fun with it, it can help you as far as marketing and connecting to the fans to let them know who you are as a person.
With how big recruiting is nowadays, I've been doing interviews since I was in ninth grade. It was for a local recruiting site, PelicanPreps.com. I had college scholarship offers when I was in eighth grade.
The way spring football works, an 11th-grader is considered a 12th-grader and in eighth grade I practiced with the varsity. The starting running back was running track, so I was the running back. Some of the college coaches were watching film and they were saying, "We really like this kid, we want to offer him a scholarship," and our coaches started laughing. "He's only in the eighth grade," and that's when it all just started picking up from there. I got offers from Tennessee and Colorado.
I didn't pay attention to how other guys were with the media until I started training for the NFL scouting combine. They work with you on dealing with the media and they go through the dos and don'ts. Since I was training at IMG, Cam Newton and RGIII were there, too, and they would talk to you about it.
Peyton Manning is great. Another guy that is really good with the media is Russell Wilson. Tom Brady has his moments where he's pretty good.
I've been doing this for a while. Sometimes honesty isn't the best way to go as far as things that happen within the team. Some stuff has to stay in the locker room and in the building, such as the game plan and things of that nature.
I've been pretty good about keeping the game plan quiet. But I've seen guys not do that, especially on other teams. I've seen guys give bulletin board material by talking trash and that's stuff you have to stay away from.
Being a kid, you do a lot growing up once you make it to this level. Being around some of these guys in the locker room, you kind of see what the business is about. I definitely wasn't about that last year around this time. It's just a lot of growing up that had to be done.
If you get too wrapped up in the media, it can be a distraction. It's just a necessary thing that comes with being in the league. If you focus only on that, it will be a distraction. But it can also help you, so why not take advantage of it?
The media here is really not that much different than at LSU. At LSU, it was a little younger. There was the college paper and some of our beat reporters were college students, but it's pretty much the same. After a big game you might get ESPN. For me, it's pretty much the same thing. Once I do the interviews, it's done. As far as which media is more critical, I really can't say. We've been winning, so everything is all gravy. It's been pretty good here.
The big thing with the media is it's another way to reach out to the fans. I think there have been times I've been misunderstood because people didn't know me or what kind of person I am. They get a better understanding of who I am. That's why I try to do my best with it anytime I get the chance to do an interview. It's really one of the best ways to connect.
After last Sunday's game I went on Twitter and was looking for a nickname for the tandem we have in the backfield with me and Giovani Bernard. I've been getting a lot of good responses and I'm sure it will continue as long as we have success.
I'm just going to sit back and let it grow. You'll know what it's going to be because it's going to be the one that sticks and the one that everyone will start to say.