Skip to main content

Rookie diary: next man up


Jeremy Hill had his career-high 15 carries the last time A.J. Green didn't play.

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

On Wednesday, I didn't even notice that wide receiver A.J. Green wasn't out there until toward the end of practice. A lot of times they just rest him and don't give him that many snaps and I just figured that's what was happening. I looked around and he wasn't out there and it was kind of like, "OK."  Then I got the news later on.

It's got to be next man up. We've played without him before when we played Atlanta. You can't let it stop the momentum. Obviously we know we're going to miss him. He's our best player, but we just have to continue to do what we've been doing in practice.

I wouldn't say the next man up philosophy is more prevalent in the pros because in college you have way more players. If a guy goes down, it doesn't hurt you that much. We're down to four receivers or something crazy like that. In college you've got 85 players dressing out on game day that can play, where here its 46. When a guy goes down, it's a little more troubling.  But we're all professionals. Everybody won a job here.

Against Atlanta, Giovani Bernard and I split 42 carries and I had a season-high 15. That's something we definitely have to look at, but every game presents its own challenges. You can see it in every game starting with the first one in Baltimore. It's all about matchups. And if you get down early, you have to throw the ball, you're not going to be able to mix the run and game and you have to use the backs in protections.

We'd like to get a lead so we can run our offense and do what we want to do and that way both of us can get our touches. It's just hard on the road when you get down because they know you're going to pass. Those are situations that are usually not successful.

I think this week we need to start fast, especially at home. It always comes back to what's best for the team. If the situation presents us with pounding the football and running it and getting it done that way, I'll be all for that. Once you get into the season, you just want to win, that's all that matters. Every game is different. Obviously I'd like to get more touches, but it is what it is.

I was just told that our offensive line coach, Paul Alexander, said that Gio and I not only make up the most talented tandem he's seen here, but that we're nice guys.

I guess running backs are known to have different personalities.  We're both humble guys who have fun with what we're doing. We work hard every day. I think it goes to show on Sunday. We appreciate that and that's what we do week in and week out and that's how we'll go for the rest of the season.

Everyone has their own personality and presents different things to the team on and off the field. I like to consider myself a happy-go-lucky guy that likes to have fun. I think it rubs off on the guys the right way. It gets guys in a cheerful mood, happy and ready to play. That's just what I bring to the table and I'm going to continue to do that and go out there and have fun like I do every Sunday. That's just the way I play.

When we played in prime time the other night, you get so into the game that sometimes you forget you're even on TV. It was a good learning lesson for me. Hostile environment against a great team. It's going to help me down the road playing those guys.

 You can't let the previous week determine how teams are playing. The Patriots didn't play well on Monday Night Football, but going at home knowing they can't lose back-to-back, you obviously saw how they played and came out.

Watching a team from the previous week, you definitely can't let that factor in to how you play or how you prepare because it's always a different matchup for you. You can just never take anything for granted.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.