Before you start pulling out your hair and calling the local mental institution, give it some thought. Jeremy Hill was on the verge of snagging Rookie of the Year honors in 2014. His display of power and speed made him one of the most lethal running backs that year. The sight of Hill turning his frame towards the O-line and hitting a hole was a beautiful sight…to Bengals fans. Opposing defenses were chewed up and spit out, under Jeremy’s churning treads.
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It seemed as though the Bengals were picking up a first down, whenever Hill was tossed the ball. The reason was simple. Per ESPN stats, Hill was gobbling up 5.1 yards per carry, when he was asked to grind it out. In space, he was averaging a cool 8.0 yards a pop. Given those types of numbers, that’s a very manageable second or third down. Throw in a little spice, with Giovani Bernard, and your first down is accomplished.
There’s no denying the fact that the infamous “fumble” will forever be tied to Hill. But, there’s also the motivation (there’s that word again) that comes from the incident. During the game, a distraught and confused Hill could be seen walking the sideline and talking to himself. In that moment of shame and guilt, the seeds for a monster 2016 were planted.
Still need more proof that Hill will be part of the Bengals’ turnaround? Let his words sink in. He was candid, per The Cincinnati Enquirer.
"“There is no running from it. I embrace it. I embrace the challenge. I embrace the doubters, the negative, all that stuff. It’s great. It’s part of football. The great competitors, the great athletes all embrace it. I see myself as no different. I’m going to continue to embrace it every day, face it every day and wait for my opportunity to overcome that.”"
Translation? He’ll do what it takes to snap back.