Philadelphia Eagles News

Hill Grateful For The Opportunity

When the Eagles signed running back P.J. Hill to the active roster from the New Orleans Saints practice squad, they got both Brian Westbrook and Brandon Jacobs.

That's because when Hill was with the Saints, he would play the role of the opposing team's best running back in practice. That provided an interesting backdrop when Westbrook introduced himself to Hill for the first time.

"I spoke to Westbrook earlier," Hill said. "He said that if I need any help just to come to him. It's good when you've got older veterans looking after you."

For Hill, it's been a whirlwind past few days.

"It kind of caught me by surprise," he said of coming to Philadelphia. "There was a big smile on my face. It's a great opportunity for me (to come to) a very good team. I'm really looking to do some good things for the team.

"It's all about getting in the playbook and just getting things down. From being here yesterday I've picked up a lot of things (already), I'm a quick learner. I'm just looking to learn and get on the field and contribute."

Hill, 5 feet 10, 218 pounds, was exceedingly productive in college at Wisconsin, running for 3,802 yards in his three-year career, third in Wisconsin history. He's one of only two players in school history to rush for over 1,000 yards in each of his first three seasons.

"I'm a very physical player, a physical back with some agility," Hill said. "I can pick up blocks, and most of all I pick things up real fast. I'm a fast learner. So I think however I need to be used, the coaches will be happy with what I do."

In fact, Hill was even bigger in college, weighing in around 235 pounds.

"I was actually a big back throughout my years in Wisconsin," said Hill, who lost the weight through a specialized diet and workout regimen. "Coaches have never really said anything about my weight as long as I was able to carry it. I just got down to 218 for the Pro Day and combine, just to be more toned and work hard on my body. I've always been a big back and I've always been comfortable carrying my weight."

Hill was considered a mid-round prospect heading into the 2009 draft, but an off-the-field incident was believed to have a negative effect on his draft status. Last March, Hill was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and eluding police.

"Most likely it (had an effect on me going undrafted)," he said. "So on draft day I wasn't really expecting to get drafted. But that's in my past; a lot of things have changed for me. It made me grow up even more and I'm just blessed to be here now, blessed that the Saints picked me up and now even more blessed that the Eagles activated me.

"I've grown up a lot because I know not only did I hurt myself, but I hurt a lot of people that were supporting me and were there for me. It was the product more of a selfish act, and I just had to learn to grow up. A situation like that, that'll make you turn your life around. I was kind of down on myself because I didn't know any team was going to pick me up at all. But then when the Saints said they wanted to pick me up I was really blessed, and I just knew that I had to put everything behind me and show that I'm a new person and I'm still going to be that good football player and continue on and do good things."

For Hill, that's in the past and the Eagles are his future.

"I don't even think about that now," he said. "I'm just turning over a new leaf and just ready to continue and it started with the Saints. I was playing good football there; they were satisfied with my progress and everything. Then I was even more blessed when the Eagles decided to sign me. I'm just looking to do good things with the team and looking to build good chemistry with the coaches and the team."

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 4:16 p.m., October 29

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