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Bengals OC on Hill: He still doesn't play like I want yet

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Entering the bye week, Cincinnati Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson admitted the team is still searching for the answer to Jeremy Hill's early-season struggles.

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"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 (against Buffalo in Week 6), 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 (after the bye)."

Hill enjoyed a standout stretch run his rookie season, leading the NFL in rushing yards and yards per carry in the second half of 2014. Many projected Hill to become one of the top runners in the NFL in 2015, among the likes of Le'Veon Bell, Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, et al.

Instead, Hill has been outplayed by his own teammate, Giovani Bernard. In just three more carries, Bernard has gained 195 more yards than Hill through the first six weeks of the season. Bernard averages 5.5 per tote to Hill's 3.1. It jumps off the game film how much more fluid the Bengals' offense runs with Bernard in the lineup, while Hill always seems a step or two behind breaking off gashing runs.

The good news for Hill, Jackson and the Bengals, is that they sit at 6-0 and have plenty of snaps to turn it around. It's easy to imagine Hill morphing back into the one-cut, big-play runner of last season, making an already juggernaut offense even more potent.

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