Getting past initial contact was a focus for Jeremy Hill this offseason and OC Hue Jackson said that the back did a good job laying the groundwork for better results.
“For me, it’s just getting that acceleration from the first level to the second level,” Hill said, via ESPN.com. “I’m just trying to lift my acceleration up and miss more tackles. That’s the biggest thing for me. The first guy got me down way too much last season.”
ESPN Stats and Info had Hill averaging 2.29 yards after contact during his rookie season, which was good for fourth in the league last season and helps explain why Hill became such a big part of the offense in the second half of the season. If he becomes even harder for defenses to stop this time around, the backfield work in Cincinnati may not be as balanced as Hill expected earlier this offseason.
Hill began to see significant work in Week 9 and averaged 19.1 carries for 103 yards and 0.67 TD over the final nine games. He averaged 18.1 carries for 95 yards and 0.67 TD in the six games in which Giovani Bernard also played during that same span, so it certainly appears that OC Hue Jackson was ready to turn to Hill as the team’s primary ball-carrier.