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New Lions TE Josh Hill on Coach Campbell: 'You're getting the genuine guy'

Josh Hill is putting off telling any of the good stories he collected from the time spent in New Orleans with Dan Campbell as his position coach.

But Hill, who signed with the Lions as a free agent after being released by the Saints, did offer one insight into the character of the Detroit Lions' new head coach.

"I'll save some of the big stories for a later time," Hill said Tuesday in a Zoom interview with the Detroit media.

"As far as Dan goes, the thing that stands out to me is his commitment to the game. The way he works. Just the way he cares about the players and what he's doing.

"You're getting the genuine guy."

Hill is expected to play the role of blocking tight end in the Lions' offense.

That was his primary role in the eight seasons he spent with the Saints -- and it's similar to what Campbell did for 10 NFL seasons, the last three with the Lions.

"I think that's to be determined," Hill said. "I'm just going into camp and try to bring different assets to the table. Do everything they ask me to and bring a workman's mentality to it."

Hill made the Saints' roster in 2013 as an undrafted free agent from Idaho State. Campbell joined the Saints in 2016 as tight ends coach and assistant head coach.

Hill said the experiences Campbell passed on to him from his time as a player were invaluable. That connection was part of the reason Hill signed with the Lions.

"There's a relationship there from playing for him for five years," Hill said. "It's nice to have a position coach who has played for so long -- who did some of the same things.

"He has a unique perspective about the way things might look on film, and the way guys move. I think he taught me that there is more than one way to do a job.

"Putting yourself in position to be successful is all about preparation -- the film study. He taught me a lot about how to prepare for the game."

Hill, who turns 31 in May, is one of three tight ends on the Lons' roster. The others are T.J. Hockenson, who made the Pro Bowl last season with 67 catches, and Hunter Bryant, who made the roster as an undrafted free agent. Bryant played sparingly because of an injury.

Hill played 117 games with 63 starts for the Saints. He has been durable, having played 14 or more games in seven of his eight seasons and all 16 five times.

He has 116 career catches, with a high of 25 in 2019. He also set his career high of 226 receiving yards in 2019.

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