Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 6/4/12
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Team Leader?

Take yourself back to 2005. Look at the Seattle roster. From 1 to 53 does the name LeRoy Hill stand out as a name that you thought could still be on the team in 2012? Fat chance.

But that’s just where you’ll find him.

Only now he’s a grizzled vet, a team leader, a fan favorite. Under the hood he’s the same old LeRoy though. The mean streak that every NFL team wishes they could have.

Linebacker LeRoy Hill has a lot of past behind him as he enters his eighth season in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks. The veteran leader has had his share of experience as a former rookie star with Super Bowl experience and many productive seasons.

Hill has also had many complications with the law.

After an impressive college career with Clemson, Hill was selected 34th in the 2005 NFL Draft by Seattle.

After a knee injury sidelined vet Jamie Sharper halfway through the season, Hill was thrust into the starting position as a rookie along with Lofa Tatupu. He finished the season with 72 tackles and 7.5 sacks, earning him a spot on the Pro Bowl roster although he was not able to play due to an ankle injury.

Big Play Ability

He was a key factor in bringing the 13-3 Seahawks to Super Bowl XL that same year, only to end up losing to the Steelers 21-10.

He played considerably well every season after his first. He made the big plays when they mattered and it was obvious how much the game meant to him.

His performance earned respect from the coaches and turned him into a veteran leader. In 2010 an achilles injury put him on the injured reserve, ending his  season after only one game.

He was a key factor in bringing the 13-3 Seahawks to Super Bowl XL

Hill was thought to have a lot of potential coming back from his injury and he was determined to make a name for himself.

Bad Boy

But troubles off the field have caused some concern, as he already had two run-ins with the law. In January 2009 he was arrested in Atlanta for marijuana possesion.

The police found him passed out in his car at an intesection.

The following year Hill was arrested in the town of Issaquah, WA due to suspicions about domestic abuse. He allegedly hit his girlfriend.

Just a couple of months after the end of the 2011 season,  Hill was charged with marijuana possession again, but the charges were later dropped after Hill successfully passed a drug test.

Hill has recently re-signed with the Seahawks, so check out why we’re happy about it.

Although LeRoy Hill has not met the same sack total that he had his rookie season, he has still been a key component to Seattle’s young and upcoming defense. He finished the 2011 season with 89 tackles, his second best result of his career.

I predict that Hill will be an interesting player to watch during the 2012 season, as he is due for yet another breakout year. 

He does have quite a few character concerns, but Pete Carroll is known for keeping his players under control.

At age 29, Hill potentially has a lot more game left in him.

He’s dedicated himself to staying in Seattle a bit longer.

LeRoy Hill on getting lighter this offseason #Seahawks – “More of a vet. Want to keep it going Feel like I’m yr 2 or 3. Lighter, Thinner!”

— Northwest SportsBeat (@NWSportsBeat) May 30, 2012

CLICK HERE CHECK OUT THE SEAHAWKS BLOG IN OUR CLUBHOUSE SECTION AT NWSB!

© Matt Church for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: 2012 preview, Auburn, Georgia, Leroy Hill, Linebacker, Lofa Tatupu, Seahawks, Seahawks Blog, Seahawks Blogs, seattle, Seattle Seahawks Blog, Super Bowl 40, Super Bowl XL, Veteran Leader

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