Will Hill is a young man with a troubled past, and he seems to be having a difficult time leaving it behind. During a candid interview with reporters on Sunday, Hill admitted that the four-game suspension he will serve at the beginning of this season is for drug use that occurred during the 2012 season.
Hill, 23, said he was ""just going through a lot of stressful times through last season, and I failed a lot of drug tests."
Asked to expand on those "stressful times," Hill opened up.
"It [the suspension] has nothing to do with football. It was more so family members, people reaching their hand out thinking you're an ATM, and people thinking you owe them something," Hill said. "There was a situation where I visited my hometown and a guy pulled a gun out on me right in the park for some money. How do you really deal with those situations? You really can't. I just dealt with it the best way I knew how."
Hill dealt with his stress by doing what he had done many times before in his young life, turning to drugs to ease the pain.
"I've been through so many stressful times, and growing up the way I grew up, it was just second nature. Growing up, walking down the street and people are putting guns in your face; it's stressful. You really don't know how to deal with situations like that when you're faced with it," Hill said. "It's definitely disappointing. For us being professional athletes, you'd think the people that will have your back would really have your back. But you know, coming up in this environment out here, I had a lot of stress from my environment. That was the only way I knew how to cope with it."
There has been plenty of speculation about Hill's status with the Giants after his second four-game suspension in two seasons, the first being for Adderall a season ago. The Giants appear to be standing by him at this point, however, having gotten him into a clinic in Boston during the off-season where Hill said he spent about a month.
"It's a blessing to be here and I know right versus wrong. The Giants helped me the best way they could. They got me help and helped me see other ways to cope with my problems," Hill said. "It wasn't forced upon me. They asked if I wanted to go and I told them yeah. I definitely wanted to get away from here, for one. Get away from the stressful situations and go out there to learn a thing or two."
Hill proved to be a valuable player for the Giants as a rookie last season, showing potential as a safety and being a solid contributor on punt and kickoff coverage teams.
After practice Sunday head coach Tom Coughlin would not discuss the team's plans for Hill, saying only that the organization was "disappointed" and "hopefully Will is going to get his life straightened out."
Forgetting the football impact on the Giants during Hill's suspension, or if they choose to cut him, you have to root for Hill to pull his life together. Having lived my own life far away from the situations Hill has found himself in throughout his life what he has seen and done is difficult to comprehend. He sounds, however, like a young man who wants to do the right thing. He just doesn't seem exactly sure what that is, or how to do it.