EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The stress of coping with life led Will Hill to use marijuana, the New York Giants safety said Sunday in his first comments after being hit by the NFL with his second four-game suspension.
Speaking frankly before practicing at training camp, Hill said the suspension he received last week for using marijuana was for failing a drug test last season.
The league didn't immediately impose a penalty because Hill tried to fight it. He also was suspended for four games early last season for using a performance-enhancing drug, which he and the Giants said was Adderall.
"Oh yeah, it's definitely disappointing," said Hill, who made the Giants as a free agent last season. "By us being professional athletes, you would think people who would have your back would have your back, but coming out and growing up in this environment here, I had a lot of stress from my environments, and (drugs were) the only way I knew how to cope with it until I got with the team and they put me in some clinics and stuff and helped me out."
The 23-year-old would miss the opening four games of the season if he makes the team. He said he has not used any banned substances this year and recently underwent drug rehabilitation in March and April in Boston, following that with outpatient meetings in New Jersey.
Hill, who grew up in nearby East Orange, said he dealt with a lot of stress growing up -- and just as much now.
"Nah, nothing to do with football," he said. "It's from family members, everyone reaching their hand out thinking I'm an ATM, and people who think you owe them something. It was just a situation where I was visiting back to my hometown and a guy pulled a shotgun on me right then and wanted money. How do you deal with those situations? I really can't, so I dealt with it the best way I knew how."
"We're disappointed, and hopefully Will is going to get his life straightened out," Coughlin said.
While some believed the second suspension might lead to Hill's release before the start of camp, Hill believes his job is safe.
"I talked to the team, and they just told me to keep on moving forward, keep being positive," Hill said. "Just take the suspension and leave it at that and don't have any more mishaps."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press