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Bengals RB Jeremy Hill talks about returning to his home state

Quotes from Bengals running back Jeremy Hill's conference call with New Orleans media on Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Cincinnati Bengals Running Back Jeremy Hill
Conference Call with Local Media
Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What are your thoughts coming to New Orleans and playing in front of your family and friends?

"It is always a good opportunity especially to go back home. Being from South Louisiana, just growing up and having aspirations of playing in the Dome (Mercedes-Benz Superdome) in high school just trying to make it to the state championship game, it is always a good opportunity to go back home and play in front of some of my home fans and some of my friends and family.  It will be a good opportunity for me."

Do you have a lot of family attending the game on Sunday?

"Yeah I think my last ticket request was something in the 40s or something crazy like that.  I try to do my best to make sure everyone dear and near to me get the opportunity to watch the game.  It will be good."

How much higher is that than normal?

"I would say it's a lot higher.  I think our home games I would probably get two or three people tops.  It is definitely, like I said, a good opportunity for me to play in front of my friends and family."

How well have you adjusted to the opportunity you had in Cincinnati?

"I think I have adjusted well.  First and foremost you have to make sure your body's ready to take that pounding and I think I did a great job preparing myself.  Just listening to some of my former teammates play in the NFL and how you have to prepare your body for it with how long of a season it is because at this point I'd be wrapping up my college season.  We're probably half way through right now.  Just going into it and knowing what your body is about to get into and second mentally preparing yourself week in and week out what the preparation it takes to get yourself ready for a NFL football game.  Just listening to your body about all that stuff and just listening to your coaches and making sure you are getting the proper amount of sleep.  There is a lot that goes into it so I am just making sure I do those things week in and week out so that way on Sunday I can set myself up for success."

What have you seen from the Saints defense?

"I have seen a lot from their defense.  They are a defense that plays a lot of fronts.  They do a lot of different blitzes.  They've toned back a lot of different things that they did early on in the season in these past few weeks now just creating a lot of generic looks and just relying on their front four to rush, Cameron Jordan and Junior Galette.  Those guys can get to the quarterback.  I think Rob Ryan's done a great job allowing those guys to rush and just find coverage behind him.  We have our hands full.  We need to set ourselves up for success, not put ourselves in third and long because that will be playing into their hands and get their home crowd rocking and allow those defensive ends to get off the ball.  We can't do that to ourselves.  We have to play in front of the sticks and not put ourselves in tough situations."

Being the main back at LSU, how much did it prepare you for the NFL?

"It definitely prepared me a lot especially being in a NFL style offense with the new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron who came in and did a great job for us.  Just implementing that new system and teaching us just the way the NFL goes and giving us a lot of stories week in and week out on the experiences he's had in the NFL.  It allowed those teams to come to fruition since I've been in the league this short amount of time.  Just doing that week in and week out and playing in the SEC as well a lot of guys are playing in the NFL right now who I played against in college.  It is just a good opportunity.  I think it should definitely help me a lot and prepare me with what I am going through right now."

How tough has it been for this team stewing after the loss to the Browns?

"It definitely stings especially losing a division game at home in front of your home crowd on a nationally televised game.  When you get out there and perform like that it definitely leaves a sour taste in your mouth.  Just going into New Orleans we know great teams do not win back to back I think we have done a great job this whole year not doing that after losses.  We have two teams that know where they stand in the division and know that a loss really hurts their cause and hurts what they really want to do this season.  We know the Saints are going in there and playing with their hearts out and we are going to do the same.  It'll be a good football game."

How much have you guys admired what Devon Still had to go through?

"Yeah it's definitely a great story.  It's definitely a thing that as a team we are sticking behind Devon and everything that he does.  Only he knows the struggle that he is going through and all we can do is be there for him.  I think everyone on this team has done a great job of that especially everyone around the country, like you said, has done a great job supporting him and everything he goes through.  We know he does everything he can for his daughter and we try to do that same thing for him as teammates as well.  We have to continue to be there for him and pray for him and praying for Leah and just continue to support him."

What are some things that you are still working on that you need to acclimate yourself within the National Football League?

"Most definitely, I think for me it's just continuing on to eliminate the weaknesses in your game.  I think every player has certain things that they'd like to get better at.  For me I'm just trying to limit those things.  As a confident guy, I like to see myself as having no weaknesses but at the end of the day everyone does.  I go in there every week in film study and come in there with thick skin.  A lot of my coaches have coached me up and pick out the nitpicky things that normal fans would not see just watching the game.  (I am) Just making sure I get those things out of my game so I can continue to help my teammates.  I am going to continue to do that week in and week out that way I can better myself and by doing that just bettering this team."

What do you guys need to do as a whole on offense to really get it going?

"I think last week it was a lot of little things that hurt us.  After going back and watching the film, I think it gave a lot of guys confidence because it really wasn't as bad as it looked to the public eye.  There were a lot of open guys on the film, a lot of guys getting blocked up. There were a lot of good things.  I think that's what we took out of it and we just have to continue to do those.  It's just eliminating the small things and the mental errors and that way, everyone knows football is a team sport and it takes all 11 guys and getting all 11 guys on the same chord that way we can accomplish what we want to accomplish on each play.  Just going into it we know what we can do.  It'll be a big week of practice for us, executing day in and day out and knowing what we want to do going into the game I think that'll set us up for success."

What is the biggest difference between college football and pro football?

"Honestly I think for me it is mentally week in and week out.  As much as you can cram mentally into your head before the game and then that still not being enough on Sunday because teams are going to come up with looks that you haven't prepared for as well.  I think college you get a lot of vanilla looks and a lot of simple coverages, simple cover three, simple quarter, simple man-to-man and you can just study for that and you will be fine but the NFL is a lot more coverages and a lot more different things you have to prepare for, a lot of different blitzes.  I think but as far as physicality and the speed of the game I really want to say that there really isn't much of a difference.  I think honestly guys are probably a little slower for the most part I just think they react a lot quicker and they know where they are going so they can get there faster."

So you think the level of athletes you faced last year in the Southeastern Conference really helped prepare you for pro ball?

"Most definitely, I think just from the physicality standpoint and going against defensive linemen with that physicality and that size and speed of the SEC helps you for the NFL a lot."

How would you compare your coaches from LSU to the Bengals?

"I think they are two completely different coaches but they both have the same morals and principles from a day in and day out basis, just coming in and being ready to work.  It's a work day.  It's a business at the end of the day.  I think they both embody that.  Also just how important practice is and I think they both believe in that. Just going out there and having fun.  I think Marvin (Lewis) does a great job of letting us go out there on Sunday and letting our personality shine and go out there and be ourselves and have fun.  Coach (Les) Miles does the same thing as well.  I think they are two different coaches but they embody some of the same things."

How does the Bengals playbook compare to the Louisiana State playbook?  It has to be a little more complex right?

"I'd say so but it has some of the same principles, some of the same things as far as the protections and the run game I think that is what's allowed me to prepare myself and transfer so quickly over.  Coach (Cam) Cameron had some west coast and we have a lot of west coast in our offense.  It helped me a lot to be able to transfer some of my stuff and some of our plays are actually called the same thing.  That helped me a lot too."

Did you see that LSU-Alabama game and if so what were you thinking at the end?

"Yeah I was actually there.  I was able to watch the game.  Obviously we played on Thursday so I was able to come down and see the game on Saturday.  I think it was a hard fought game obviously they would have liked to win the game but that it what you are going to get when you are playing against Alabama who is a well-coached football team.  Those guys gave it all they can.  At the end of the day that is all you can ask for."

Were you thinking that they were going to storm the field?

"Yeah most definitely, I think everyone knew that if they would have pulled off the win.  I think everyone knew and thought that they would do that.  It just goes to show you the change of college football.  A few years ago LSU would be the favorite to win the game but now the way things have turned around we have fans crowding the field now.  It just goes to show you how crazy the SEC can be and just how everything has turned around."

Did you go in the locker room after the game?

"I actually wasn't able to.  I actually got out of there at half time.  I just had to beat the traffic.  I knew people that were stuck in traffic until about 2:00 am.  I took the smart approach and got out of there and watched the end of the game on TV."

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