Training camp can bring out the best and worst in players. With the Bengals celebrating 50 years, a change could be in store for Jeremy Hill and others.
With the start of Bengals training camp, the anticipation of another year has fans hyped. The planning and orchestration of getting back to the playoffs has begun. This season, Bengals fans may even get to see the team move deeper into the postseason. The talent that’s been amassed is incredible. On paper, Cincinnati looks like the bully of the AFC North.
But, as praises go out to players, there seems to be one name seldom mentioned. If you think hard enough, it’s easy to figure out the missing link. LSU product Jeremy Hill hasn’t been in the conversation of coaches.
Hill has talked about having a good offseason and coming back healthy. Most fans didn’t know about the injuries Hill suffered over the course of a grueling and disappointing campaign. But, he’s back with a positive attitude and ready to prove that he belongs.
"“Last year wasn’t what we wanted, so starting upstairs we made a statement, bringing guys in to compete every day,” Hill said, per USA Today. “We need to get back to that playoff standard because that’s the talent we have in our locker room.”"
The Real Deal
Hill has already stated that there’s no animosity or jealousy in a team situation. But, the possibilities are there for some heated battles during camp. Giovani Bernard is looking spectacular. In fact, the quick little back looks like he never suffered a season ending injury. His cuts are crisp, planting ability looks flawless and his vision looks better than before.
Of course, this is all controlled combat and it’s 11-on-11 action. The players aren’t going to deliver insane blows and tackles.
Yet, Hill is lost in the shuffle.
"“You know you don’t take a running back in the second round and put him on the shelf,” Hill calmly explained, via Cincy Jungle. “Obviously Joe is gonna get his carries, and they extended Gio, so he’s gonna obviously get his play too. For me, really, I can’t focus on all of those things. For me, the best-case scenario is I win the job and get the bulk load of the carries, and that’s what I’m preparing myself for, and we’ll just go from there. I think the sky’s the limit for our offense.”"
Hill is being the ultimate team player, at the moment. But, look for the situation to get a lot hotter. The Dog Days of Summer and training camp heat can make tempers flare. Hopefully, Hill takes any anger and leaves it all on the field.