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New RB Jeremy Hill explains why he signed with Patriots, is good fit for offense

Ryan Hannable
August 02, 2018 - 2:27 pm

FOXBORO -- This offseason free agent running back Jeremy Hill had options, but he didn't need to think twice when the Patriots called and were interested in his services.

After spending the first four years of his career with the Bengals, the running back signed with the Patriots this past March. Speaking after Thursday's practice, Hill said the way the Patriots use their running backs in so many different ways was a big factor into signing with the team.

“That is why I signed here, just seeing the success of [Stevan] Ridley, [LeGarrette] Blount, guys like that," he said. "I saw myself filling in in that role, coming here and helping the team get those tough yards. I saw myself doing those types of things.”

Coming from Cincinnati, Hill was close with Rex Burkhead and he said Burkhead has been very helpful getting him up to speed.

“Rex texted me the day I signed and congratulated me," Hill said. "He’s been there with me and helping me out since Day 1 -- helping me out with the offense, with routes, with everything. It’s been good. Rex has definitely been a tool I’ve been using to help me out and help this team. Rex has definitely been a great help to me.”

Hill is part of a crowded Patriots running back room which includes Burkhead, James White, Sony Michel, Mike Gillislee and Brandon Bolden. It would appear Hill and Gillislee will be battling one another for a roster spot, but Hill may have the edge because of his versatility.

“I would say I am a hard-nosed runner," he said. "I am great in short-yardage, goal-line situations. I can catch the ball out of the backfield and also break some long runs, too. I see myself as a complete back and someone who can help this team win football games.”

Only playing in seven games because of ankle surgery last year, Hill declared himself 100 percent healthy.

"Surgery last year was tough for me. It was my first time having surgery, so getting back and being able to play football [is great]," he said. "Coming out here and putting on pads, running around, competing, it feels great. I am definitely happy health-wise.”

Some forget Hill was a 1,000-yard rusher, so the talent is certainly there -- it's just about putting everything together. Hill will get his first chance to show what he has next Thursday in the first preseason game, which he very much looks forward to.

“It is great competing against our defense. For me, this is all new guys, so competing against them every day is great, but seeing new people will definitely be fun," he said.

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