There has been a lot of buzz generated this offseason surrounding
"We can't run from it because they're going to say it," Jackson said, per ESPN.com. "Now you've got to go live up to it. There should be no pressure in that. All it is is to go out and work. To me, if a guy wants to be great, he's got to relish that. He's got to want that and then go exceed it.
"That would be my challenge to [Hill]. I expect him to exceed whatever the expectation is about him."
Jackson has high hopes for Hill and fellow running back Giovani Bernard.
"The sky's the limit for him and Gio," Jackson said. "But they've got to go out and do it. They've got to do it on a consistent basis, week in and week out. It can't be about the plays that are called, the defenses that they're facing. You've got to make plays."
It seems as if the Bengals are going to use both of them as much as possible, per ESPN.com.
"Obviously there's going to be a balanced attack," Hill said. "I don't think he's got to wear either one of us out, so that way we can make it through all 16 games for a playoff push."
Hill rushed for 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns last season as a rookie, while injuries limited Bernard to 680 yards and five touchdowns. The duo plans on coming back even stronger next season.
"We want to lift ourselves to the next level and earn the respect of this league," Hill said. "We have the guys in the [running back] room to do that."
Hill fumbled just once in two seasons at LSU, then five times as a rookie for Cincinnati, which drafted him in the second round in part because of his ability to hang on to the ball.
"I had so much confidence last year in my ability to carry the football, I kind of got lackadaisical about it and just kind of said, 'Well, no one can take the ball from me,' and just kind of wasn't respecting the guys on the other team," Hill told ESPN. "That's the worst mistake you can make, especially in this league."
His propensity to fumble did not prevent him from taking over as the featured back by midseason and finishing with 1,124 yards and a 5.1 yards-per-carry average.
"Bernard is still going to get a lot of key touches as the change-of-pace guy," Hobson wrote, projecting Bernard with 8-11 touches per game. "I think [OC] Hue [Jackson] uses him a lot more in the pass game this year. With [tight end Jermaine] Gresham expected to be gone, I'm going to write in Gio for 60 catches."
It's not a stretch, as Bernard caught 56 passes as a rookie, then 43 in 13 games last year. He had a touchdown grab in each of the last two regular-season games and was Cincy's best receiver down the stretch, per Hobson.
Hill was not targeted in the passing game. His 1-yard score late in the first quarter proved to be Cincy's lone touchdown.
Hill rushed for 1,124 yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season, surpassing Giovani Bernard in the pecking order. Look for Hill and Bernard to share backfield duties in 2015, with Hill getting more carries and Bernard being featured in the passing game.
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