Leroy Hill returns to the scene of his “CRIME”, ahem “Prime”

Published on August 17, 2011 by     Seahawks.Com News (Feed)

After 30 months of injuries, indiscretions and uncertainty, linebacker Leroy Hill not only is back with the Seahawks, he’s back at the starting weakside spot where he made so many plays earlier in his career.

Discussing Leroy Hill’s current situation with the Seahawks quickly turns into a conversation punctuated with lot of laughs and even more smiles.

And it’s nice to see, after what the veteran linebacker has been through the past 30 months – from his violent goal-line collision with Cowboys running back Marion Barber in a Week 13 that ended his 2008 season; to the groin injury that cost him five games early in the 2009 season; to the Achilles injury that ended his 2010 season after only one game; to the indiscretions that led to his one-game suspension by the league last season.

Talk about piling on. But watching Hill whirl around the practice field at the Seahawks training camp and seeing the way he’s carrying himself – off the field, as well as on – it all seems like it happened to someone else. Except that it didn’t.

“There was a lot of off-field stuff going on that could drag you down,” Hill said the other day. “I had a lot of stuff on my mind. But everything is behind me.

“Now, I’m comfortable, I’m happy, I’m clear-minded.”

And, he’s back at the weakside linebacker spot he played – and played so well – earlier in his career.

“It’s definitely sweeter to be back after what I’ve been through,” he said. “There was so much uncertainty. But when the uncertainty clears up, now I can just get back to focusing on what I love to do.”

That’s where the laughs and smiles come in.

Hill, a third-round draft choice in 2005, is still around – one of only two players left from the ’05 Super Bowl team. Lofa Tatupu, a second-round pick that year, three-time Pro Bowl selection and only player in franchise history to lead the team in tackles four consecutive seasons, is not – having been released last month.

“It’s crazy. It’s unreal,” Hill said with a smile and then a laugh. “But it is what it is. It’s a crazy business – and I think me still being here and Lofa being gone proves it. Now, I’m the old guy in the (meeting room) after everything I’ve been through.

“I accept that role. It’s all good. It’s cool. All I can do is try to move forward and bring the young guys with me.”

David Hawthorne, who made the club as a rookie free agent in 2008, has replaced Tatupu at middle linebacker – after starting on the weakside and leading the team in tackles last season.

“You’ve got a former rookie free agent replacing a Pro Bowl middle linebacker, and now ‘Heater’ is helping me learn the position I used to play,” Hill said with another smile and another laugh while referring to Hawthorne by the nickname Tatupu gave him as a rookie.

“It’s definitely odd. It’s a crazy story.”

Crazy stuff, as Hill said, but the Seahawks are happy he’s still around after re-signing with the team on July 29.

“We were always planning to bring him back,” said general manager John Schneider, who rejoined the team in January of 2010. “We didn’t feel like he got a fair shake last year. It wasn’t really anybody’s fault – it wasn’t Leroy’s, it wasn’t ours’ – it was just the situation.

“So this year we wanted to say, ‘Hey, fresh start. Come on it. Turn the page. And we’ll move forward and see how it goes.’ ”

So far, it’s going great.

In addition to rediscovering his love of the game, Hill also has recaptured his panache for making plays. After all, he exploded on the scene with 7½ sacks as a rookie; produced a career-high 91 tackles in 2006; and followed that with 81-tackle seasons in 2007 and 2008, even though he missed the final four games in ’08.

In the preseason opener against the Chargers in San Diego last Thursday night, Hill made a couple of turn-back-the-clock plays – displaying the speed and violent collisions he brings to the defense.

“Like I said, I feel good,” he offered, with yet another smile and yet another laugh. “I’m clear-minded and I can focus on just playing football.”

While the position is familiar to Hill, the defense coach Pete Carroll brought with him last year isn’t.

“I’m still adjusting to a lot of the stuff,” Hill said. “But there are a lot of similarities to the defense I used to make a lot of plays in.

“When they call a lot of those defenses, I’m feeling Super Bowl year again.”

This also is the first Carroll has seen of the real Leroy Hill.

“I didn’t get a chance to see him before and there was talk about him being such a hard-nosed, tough guy,” Carroll said. “You always want that on the defensive side. You can never have enough tough guys on defense.”

Seeing has made Carroll a believer. “Leroy looks very comfortable,” Carroll said. “He had a great offseason. And it’s great because he’s so motivated, too. He really wants to prove a point that he belongs here.”

Now, Hill needs to help the Seahawks’ defense have a better season after it ranked 27th in the league last year.

“He’s physical, he’s fast, he understands the scheme and he understands the position well,” Carroll said. “He’s just going to get his timing down. He felt very good out there the first game. I think it’s great to have him back.”

Schneider agrees, to a point.

“Leroy is playing well. He’s doing a good job,” Schneider said. “He’s explosive. He’s always been a smart, instinctive, explosive player. I thought that showed in the game the other night. His toughness is off the charts.”

There has been, however, one problem.

“He jacked up my back the other day at practice,” Schneider said. “I had my back to the defense and was on the phone. He slammed into me going about 140 mph.

“So I don’t know if that’s bad karma or what.”

For Schneider, perhaps. Hill? Not so much. Not anymore. He’s now traveling through a good-karma zone.

“This,” Hill said through one last smile, “could be a great story.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

131230bennett6vgdfgdgdfg60

Less dancing, more tackling from Seahawks, please

As the Dallas Cowboys were giving them a beating last Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks defense provided a CenturyLink ...
17YsDE.AuSt.5

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll: “Whenever we’re running the ball, we’re fine”

Marshawn Lynch sprinted down the right sideline untouched, into and out of the end zone. But he wasn’t carrying ...
Seahawks Broncos Football

Hawks waive DB Steven Terrell, bring back DE Greg Scruggs

The Seahawks today essentially reversed the move they made on Saturday, waiving defensive back Steven Terrell and bringing ...
141013hawkville660

Marshawn Lynch’s limited carries glaring in Seahawks’ two losses

Marshawn Lynch was limited to 10 carries in Sunday’s loss to Cowboys at CenturyLink Field, prompting coach Pete ...
141013injuries660

Seahawks’ depth being tested by rash of injuries

Middle linebacker Bobby Wagner left Sunday’s game, but returned. Cornerback Byron Maxwell did not. And their status for ...
on January 30, 2014 in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Russell Okung has torn labrum in shoulder

Seahawks left tackle Russell Okung has a torn labrum in his shoulder, according to team sources. Okung suffered the ...
141013-maxwell-600

Calf strain, not high-ankle sprain, for cornerback Byron Maxwell

Byron Maxwell Injury Deemed Less Serious Cornerback Byron Maxwell, who left Sunday's game against the Cowboys in the second ...
Doug Baldwin rants on Seahawks  offensive struggles   NFL.com

Doug Baldwin rants on Seahawks’ offensive struggles

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin was a tad angry at the offense's struggles after being upset by ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com
 

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz