For the last two years, Jeremy Hill’s touchdown celebrations have been a fun way to celebrate the Bengals scoring points. After all, Hill has more rushing touchdowns from 2014-2015 than any other NFL player, so there was great cause and many times where celebrations were warranted.
But this preseason, Hill’s dance moves were notably absent after he scored touchdowns and the Bengals running back admitted he was done with celebrating. "I’m not celebrating this year,” Hill told Geoff Hobson of Bengals.com. “I don’t really care about that stuff. I just want to get better and help my team. I want to be 100 percent on my dots. The guys I’m looking at to make my cut. That’s what I want to do. I just want to be solid on my reads. Be effective and efficient out there. Get better every time.”
If Hill believes that getting rid of his dance moves is the way to become a better player, he’s making the right call. But, when Hill made those remarks during the preseason, I didn’t think that by getting rid of his celebration moves, he would go business-like and start shaking his teammates hands as an alternate way to celebrate the scores he puts on the board.
Here’s Hill’s touchdown from Sunday against the Jets.
After the touchdown, Hill ran over the game official, handed him the ball and then methodically walked up to a number of his offensive teammates to shake their hands.
Is this a new Jeremy Hill? It seems like the handshakes were planned out, so it will be interesting to see if this continues. Hopefully, we’ll find out in Week 2, that is, if Hill is able to score another touchdown in the second game of the season.
As a side note, the NFL does not allow extensive choreographed dance moves nor multi-player celebrations. Two Cardinals players, Chandler Jones and D.J. Swearinger did a short dance on Sunday night after a fumble recovery during the Cardinals loss to the Patriots and were given a 15-yard penalty.
Here’s the official wording regarding excessive celebrations from the NFL’s rulebook:
There shall be no unsportsmanlike conduct. This applies to any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship. Such acts specifically include, among others:
e. Prolonged or excessive celebrations or demonstrations by an individual player. Players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground. A celebration or demonstration shall be deemed excessive or prolonged if a player continues to celebrate or demonstrate after a warning from an official.
f. Two or more players engaging in prolonged, excessive, premeditated, or choreographed celebrations or demonstrations.
It doesn’t seem like Hill will have an issue with this rule in 2016.