Seahawks LB Leroy Hill (Getty)
Last year at this time, there was concern that LB Leroy Hill might not be in a Seahawks uniform in 2009, but a sizeable contract has him secured for the future and he's now focused on the things he does well -- tackling and getting after the quarterback. The talented veteran is enjoying the new scheme being implemented and he said while things are different, they aren't that much different...
"A lot has changed, but it’s still a 4-3 defense," Hill told Dave Mahler on KJR Monday. "It’s all new terminology, it’s a lot more blitzes and the blitzes are a lot more intricate and it’s a lot more detail-oriented.
"I think we’re going to send the linebackers a lot more than we did last year. We sat back a lot last year and teams sorta picked up apart, but that comes with game planning too because sometimes you can’t blitz all the time."
In 2008, Hill finished third on the team with 84 tackles but teams were able to reach him and cause problems with stopping the run. Now he has two huge men in front of him that should help him out this year in Cory Redding and Colin Cole.
"As a linebacker you love for a defensive linemen to be able to keep guards and centers off you so you can roam free and especially with the linebackers we’ve got, we like to roam and shut it down and big Cory, he almost demands a double team," Hill said. "So if you can keep that block on him a little longer we can get to our gaps and it makes a world of difference because we can make plays in the backfield more instead of at the line of scrimmage or past it.
"(Cole) is a big wide body. He just anchors down and just holds somebody and that’s what he does. He plays the run very good. He’ll probably come out on passing downs, but we don’t need him on passing downs because we’ve got the speed guys on passing downs but on the running downs he’s critical with his wide body."
Joining Hill and Lofa Tatupu this year in the starting linebacking corps is the fourth-overall selection Aaron Curry who recently joined the team after signing a sizeable six-year contract.
"He’s running with the one’s today," Hill noted. "He was at mini camps, so this is sorta a refresher for him. He has to get into football shape, but right now he’s going to be a beast.
I just expect him to bring what he can to the table. The money and the contract sorta supersedes him and people need to realize he’s a rookie and rookies are going to make mistakes. I hope he gets 20 sacks and 15 interceptions but for the most part I expect him to come in and play like a starter, but at the same time I know that he’s a rookie."
Finally, Hill said he's just looking forward to this Saturday's game against San Diego, when he and the rest of his teammates can hit someone in a different jersey.
"I just want to play technically sound defense," Hill said. "The things that we’ve installed, we want to see it against a team we don’t see every day.
"It’s preseason so there’s going to be some mistakes, but we just want to line our defense up, play some of our base defenses and see how we play against the run and the pass against a team we don’t know exactly what they are going to do."