Hill, Green-Ellis clutch some common ground


Cincinnati Bengals second-round pick Jeremy Hill and the man he was drafted to eventually replace, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, have more in common than the position they play.

Hill’s position coach at LSU was Frank Wilson, who was the running backs coach for Green-Ellis during his time there.

And apparently teaching ball security is one of Wilson’s hallmarks.

Green-Ellis set an NFL record for consecutive carries without a fumble to start to his career (589), while Hill takes pride in the fact that he never lost a fumble in 345 rushing attempts at LSU.

“I had one career fumble at LSU, but I got it right back,” Hill said. “I think I was pretty good. I wish I could take that one back, but it happened.

“It’s a little bit like a quarterback not throwing interceptions, there’s a little bit of luck and a little bit of skill,” he added. “I work at it every day. I know it’s eventually going to happen, but I’m going to try to prolong it as long as I can.”

That last sentence might be the exact thought running throw Green-Ellis’ mind in regards to losing his job to Hill.

But in spite of the natural rivalry created by Hill’s presence, the rookie said Green-Ellis has been nothing but accommodating.

“Benny has been very helpful,” Hill said. “Any questions I have for him, he’s been there to help me. I’m glad to have a veteran who knows what he’s doing here to help me. I think everyone realizes it takes all of us to be successful for the team to be successful.”

Unlike A.J. McCarron, the quarterback from Alabama who said he expects to spend his rookie season learning at the bottom of the depth chart, Hill said he knows he is going to get a chance to show what he can do right away.

“They wouldn’t have drafted me in the second round if they didn’t have the intention of giving me an opportunity to play,” he said. “They’re not telling me I’m going to play, but they’re going to give me an opportunity. I’ll take that and run with it.”

Spartan siblings: One of the first Bengals to welcome first-round pick Darqueze Dennard was defensive tackle Domata Peko, which isn’t surprising considering their shared background.

Dennard is the first player the Bengals have drafted from Michigan State since Peko in the fourth round in 2006.

“The last Michigan State guy we picked is an all-right player,” Peko joked. “Hopefully (Dennard) will pan out to be a great player. I told him when he got here that we got better as a team when we drafted him.

“I told him if he needs anything or has any questions about the defense or the city to give me a call,” Peko added.

Peko’s nephew Fou Fonoti, who signed as an undrafted free agent with San Francisco, played with Dennard at MSU and gave his uncle a scouting report.

“He texted me and said you guys are lucky to have Dennard,” Peko said. “He said he’s a hell of a kid and he works his tail off.”

Movie man: One of the perks of landing a bit role in a major motion picture is a chance to go to the Hollywood premiere, but Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga couldn’t bring himself to attend.

“You can’t really fly to LA for one night and then fly back and make it to your next workout,” said Maualuga, who has a few lines in the new Jon Hamm film “Million Dollar Arm.”

“I just want to be here with my teammates,” he added, referring to the ongoing voluntary workouts at Paul Brown Stadium. “That’s more important. But I’ve heard great feedback from people who have seen it.”

Maualuga said he is going to take his daughter to see the movie Friday night.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I hope she likes it. There’s no cussing or big kissing scenes, so it should be fun.”


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