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Hue Jackson: Jeremy Hill doesn’t play like I want him to play

ORCHARD PARK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Jeremy Hill #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals breaks a tackle by Corey Graham #20 of the Buffalo Bills during the second half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on October 18, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

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It took Jeremy Hill a little time to get going during his rookie season, but he never slowed down once he broke through around midseason.

Hill ran for 929 yards on 172 carries over the final nine games of the regular season, raising hopes that he’d pick up where he left off once the 2015 season got underway. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.

Hill spent much of Week Two on the bench due to fumbles and he’s averaging 3.1 yards per carry after his average topped five yards last season. Coach Hue Jackson said that he isn’t sure why Hill’s production is down, but that he wants and expects to see more from him when the team returns from a bye in Week Seven.
“He still doesn’t play like I want him to play yet, I’ll be the first to tell you guys that,” Jackson said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “I’m not going to run from that, he can’t run from it either. I mean, there’s another level for him and he’ll get there and I believe that with my whole heart. Whatever it is, it is, so I’m not going to run from that. He scored a touchdown [last Sunday], he had some good strong runs but I know the player he can be so I’m going to keep pushing him to get there. I mean, we need him. He’s going to be a huge part down the stretch run once we get back here.”

Any concern about Hill’s first six games is mitigated by the fact that the Bengals won all of them and that Giovani Bernard has been very productive as Hill’s complement in the backfield. As long as those things remain part of the bigger picture for Cincinnati, they’ll be able to wait for Hill to find a spark.