The Green Bay Packers promoted undrafted rookie running back Michael Hill from the practice squad to the 53-man roster on Monday in place of Jeremy Ross. Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said Hill has a "natural run skill" and likes what Hill has done on the practice squad in his short time in Green Bay.
Hill said he was somewhat shocked to hear he had been promoted. "I just walked (into the meeting room) and saw my name on the depth chart," Hill said. "It was awesome."
Hill rushed for a school record 4,969 yards and 35 touchdowns at Division II Missouri Western. The 5'10, 210-pound running back isn't afraid of the bright lights and amplified NFL environment though. "I work hard and I'm dedicated," Hill said. "I'm going to prepare like I'm a starter and take it that way."
Packers running backs Eddie Lacy (concussion), John Kuhn (hamstring), James Starks (knee) and Johnathan Franklin (foot) have all been hobbled quite a bit through the first three weeks of the season, but Hill isn't concerned about his new offensive back mates. "Those guys will be back soon I'm pretty sure," Hill said. "If my name is called though, I'm going to try and make plays and make a name for myself."
Last season, the Packers signed unknown free agent running back DuJuan Harris to the practice squad. Harris became an impact player for the Packers by the end of the 2012 season, which should increase Hill's possibility of playing early as an undrafted rookie. "You see that a lot with Green Bay," Hill said. "I didn't know it was like that until I got here."
Hill, who was with the San Diego Chargers in training camp this past August, said he believes his pass protection skills earned him a roster spot in Green Bay. "I think it was huge," Hill said. "They (San Diego) kept me in as a third down back most of the time. I communicate with the linemen so that really prepared me for Green Bay."
The Packers have a perfectionist mindset as a team, so Hill should fit in with ease. "Anyone in here will help you. On the field you just have to pay attention to everything and be a perfectionist," Hill said. "I'm still studying. I'm trying to be a perfectionist and I'm still striving for that."
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