Jordan Hill collected 5.5 sacks over a six-game stretch late in the season last year, and just as it appeared the game was starting to slow down for the Seahawks defensive tackle, he suffered a season-ending calf injury while rehabbing a minor knee injury during the team's playoff bye week.
"I was getting just used to playing with those guys," Hill told Seahawks.com's 'The Daily Stretch' on Sunday, a podcast hosted by Seahawks Radio Network executive producer Matt 'Stretch' Johnson. "As a defensive lineman, especially a pass rusher, it takes four. Not just an individual thing. I just had to learn how to rush with those guys and go through a whole season and each game getting better. That's what happened, and then I get hurt."
Hill, who Seattle chose in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, missed the club's postseason run as a result. As frustrating as the situation was for Hill at the time, he reported to Seahawks training camp this past weekend fully healthy.
"I'm feeling good," said Hill. "Got a little gassed today during two-minute. The first two-minute drill today, that's always tough. But that's probably the best conditioning you can have for football."
A Penn State product, Hill spent his offseason in his hometown of Steelton, Penn. He said it was the first offseason he's had away from the Seattle area, and he used it to work out while enjoying time with his family, friends, and wife, whom he married this past April and spent 10 days with honeymooning in the Hawaiian Islands.
When it comes to that pass-rushing rise to close 2014, Hill said he credits one-on-one time with fellow Seahawks D-lineman Michael Bennett, who took him aside prior to practice to help him work on his technique. From those sessions, Hill said his confidence level began to rise and the on-field production followed.
"The veterans I've got in the room, they're good," Hill said of Seattle's defensive linemen. "Their technique is out of this world. You're not going to find a better defensive lineman than Mike B., Cliff Avril, and Brandon Mebane."
Hopes are high for Hill as he enters 2015 as one of the team's more talented interior pass rushers. So how is the third-year defensive tackle preparing himself for what lies ahead?
"Just to continue where I left off," Hill said. "Just getting better each and every day, each and every practice, each and every game. That's just kind of how I prepare myself. That's how I've done it in college and [I'm] carrying it to the NFL."