Jeremy Hill on playing with passion, playoff loss, Andy Dalton

NFL Media's Oklahoma Drill series presents exclusive, quick-hitting one-on-one interviews with players and coaches from around the league. No nonsense -- just football experiences directly from the source.

Jeremy Hill

Running back, Cincinnati Bengals

Born: Oct. 20, 1992

Experience: Third NFL season

Interview by Brooke Cersosimo | July 1, 2016

Hue [Jackson] was definitely an emotional guy who got us up and ready to play every game. There wasn't a game where we came out flat or we came out not knowing what to do. He made sure every game we were up emotionally and mentally prepared to go out there and handle the task at hand. You know, I think that's going to be a big piece missing from us, but I think Coach Ken Zampese can pick up where we left off. I think we'll be ready.

[The highest moment of my career was] my rookie year, beating Denver at home and clinching a playoff spot. That was huge.

[My lowest moment was] the playoff game last year, fumbling and ending our season.

It's just like anything in football, you have to stay even keel. You can't get too high with the highs or too low with the lows. As cliché as that may sound, it's real. For me, it's just staying even keel and putting that play behind me and continue to try to stack good plays together. The end result will be good I feel.

Marshall Faulk reached out to me, and told me to keep my head up and that I shouldn't let that play define me. That it doesn't define me. That resonated with me. He's a good mentor of mine and that's a lasting message I took from it.

I guess you could say there's pressure [to win a playoff game], but it's more of a ... hmmm. It's more that we're excited for the opportunity. Watching Cleveland get over the hump this year, it was a beautiful thing to watch how much [winning an NBA championship] meant to the city and how much it meant to everyone who followed that team.

So when you see that, it kinda motivates you and sets a little fire in you to accomplish that for our city. For us, you know, it doesn't stop with a playoff win. It's the ultimate goal and I think every team has that goal. I think every guy in our locker room is excited for that opportunity again.

I love where my mental state is. It won't change. Like I said, I like to stay even keel. If anything, I want to play more passionately. I think that even keel kinda gets me in trouble sometimes, but next year I want to be more passionate.

It's fun [playing alongside Giovani Bernard]. It brings your competitive nature out every day. You don't get a day off and you have to be ready to go and ready to compete. I enjoy playing with him every day because we hold each other accountable, and we come to work ready to get better.

It starts with Gio and I. We come ready to go every day and are setting the tempo, setting the pace and everyone on offense follows suit. I think people feed off that.

I talk trash to all my teammates about having [an LSU] teammate on every team just about. It's fun, man. It's beautiful seeing all the guys you played in college with getting an opportunity and even the younger guys coming in this year, I played with some of those guys, too. We stay close. We stay tight and it's a bond that no one can take away.

I'm looking forward to playing both [Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry] equally, just for the trash talk factor. Honestly, we probably won't play either one of them for a while after this, so we gotta get both of those games.

To me, [Andy Dalton] is one of the best [quarterbacks], if not the best, especially after the year he had last year. I don't know what more you can ask of your quarterback as far as being a leader, getting our team out to an 8-0 start. Obviously, he would've liked to not be injured and finish that season but to me, he's the best, if not one of the best.

Adam Jones. Pacman. He's probably the funniest guy on the team.

It was Kobe but now that he's gone, I'm going to go with Cristiano Ronaldo. I love his style. I love the way he approaches every match. It's just his energy and how hungry he is to score. You can see and feel it. When I watch it, I can feel it through the TV. I love watching that and I think he's the best player in the world.

Growing up, I loved Ricky Williams. He was my favorite running back to watch, especially when he was at Texas. I thought he was the best thing ever. I also love Reggie Bush.

Their home-run ability, just being able to score from any spot on the field at any given moment of the game. That's what made me fall in love with both of those guys, and Reggie, to me, is the best college player I've seen. He was that special.

The Precinct. It's a steakhouse in Cincinnati.

Jubilation. [When a hole opens up on the field] it's beautiful really. Just seeing everything come together like that because all it takes is one person to miss their block or one person to do the wrong assignment and the whole play is in the trash. But when everyone comes together, it's up to me to finish it off.

I'm not a fantasy expert, so I really have no idea. I'm just trying to win football games and fantasy football people don't really like that, so I'm gonna stay away from that one.

I didn't have the year you would need to be in ["The Top 100 Players of 2016" list]. It would definitely be great to have the opportunity to be on there next year. I don't feel slighted this year.

I intend on playing a lot better. I intend on being the guy that my teammates, my coaches and my organization want me to be and know I can be.

As far as the team, we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. We want to pick up where we left off, as far as doing the right things and playing with energy and playing fast, just taking it week by week. I like the group of men we have right now and the sky's the limit for us.

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