RB Nyheim Hines (5.22.24)

So how’s things been so far? Adjusting to the new organization, new offense, all of that?

“It’s been great, honestly. There’s some carryover from Buffalo with Ken (Dorsey) being here, so it’s half learning, half new. And there are some things that I heard in Buffalo that have changed, so it’s been great just being in the room, being around the guys, super appreciative of the opportunity to be here after getting released and picked up and then just rehabbing every day with Joe (Sheehan) and everybody in there. They welcomed me really well. So, the adjustment has actually been fairly easier than it was than my first transition to Buffalo.”


How far along are you in your rehab?

“I had surgery August 8, so nine months and a couple weeks.”


But I mean, like, how close are you to maybe getting back to not just standing out here?

“You guys will not see me out here for OTA’s during practice. I should be ready to go for minicamp. The goal is to be ready right around August 1 or end of July, depending on how my leg comes around, but goal is to be out there for Week One.”


What should we know about Ken (Dorsey) that we don’t because we’re not in the room with him?

“I think one thing is that he’s going to help our passing game out tremendously, especially the empty and explosive plays. I think with him, he’s very aggressive. He’s not going to be scared to call whatever he calls, and he’s going to trust us and believe in us. So there might come times where you go like, ‘Why did he call that?’ And that’s because he has a really big belief in his guys, and he’s going to ride with his guys over his own instinct, I guess, because he trusts us like that. So that’s one thing I’ll say. We’re going to be aggressive and he’s going to help our passing game get better.”


You were really successful as a kick return guy. As you look at the new kickoff rule and kind of exchange it, what are kind of your thoughts on the opportunities that are there, especially for the return men?

“I’m super excited for the opportunity. One, I think it’s going to maybe favor towards running backs or somebody who’s going to hit the hole. It’s not going to be like you can just run across the field how people used to do back in the day or super-fast guys. So, I think personally, for me, it’ll be great. You got to see a hole and hit it. And then, honestly, after that Bubba (Ventrone) was my coordinator had a great time with him and Indy. We had some good numbers. So I’m really excited for that and the opportunity to come back out here get ready and be a returner.”


When you were signed, you seem like you’re pigeonholed as a return specialist, at least by us. But what are people going to see from you as a running back that maybe they wouldn’t expect?

“A dog, I mean, I’m not the biggest guy in the world, but I’m not going to be scared. I’m going to put my head down there. I’m known for my pass catching abilities, so the return specialist thing was kind of disrespectful, honestly, I don’t know. I don’t know any other return specialist who has over 230 catches in five years. So, I think people kind of forgot that in Buffalo I was traded, only played ten games there, had to learn a new offense, didn’t have the opportunity last year to play. So, I’m really excited to go out there and prove the offensive threat I am. And I’m just as big of a threat on offense as I am in the return game if it’s passing, catching, kicking, or in empty. So, I’m super excited to have the opportunity to prove everybody that I, what I can do on offense.”


Speaking of proven, how much have you seen Deshaun (Watson) throwing and how has he looked? What do you see now with Deshaun?


“Yeah, well, I’ve been in LA with him rehabbing. Honestly, he’s still working through his rehab, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. I’ve caught some passes from him, they have the zip on it, and I played against Deshaun (Watson) nine or ten years. He’s probably one of the only people I’ve seen where every time I’ve played him, he’s gotten better. Him and Lamar Jackson. So I’m excited to work with him finally after playing against him all these years, and I’m excited to see him come back. I think he’s going to be really special this year and lead us to where we need to go.”


Why did this feel like a good fit for you?”

“I think it was a great fit just because of the passing game, first off, I know that was something Cleveland was looking forward to, getting a back and getting guys who were explosive in space and then the returner opportunity. The returners have been in and out there’s been a lot of different returners over the years, at least for the past couple years. What I’ve seen when we played them and Bubba was here, so I know, Bubba’s probably one of. Bubba and Ken (Dorsey) are probably the two biggest reasons I’m here, so I’m thankful for that and thankful to be here.


Ten months later, how do you process what happened to you?

“That’s a good question. Ten months later, I processed what happened to me as not a blessing in disguise, but it’s something you learn from. You learn how things happen, what you can do not to be in that position. And then, honestly, you learned who stands outside with you when it’s raining outside, everybody’s calling you and asking you for tickets one year, and then you tell your ACL, and nobody’s calling you and texting you no more. So it was really good for me, honestly, to see who’s on my side, really. And honestly, this is the hardest thing in my life, and I truly believe that everything is on the other side of hard, so this is the hardest thing in my life. So if I can get through this hard part, I think the best times are coming for me.”


How’d it happen?

“Yeah, I was on a jet ski. I was sitting on a jet ski and got hit.”


I mean, has it helped? I don’t know how much you’ve been around him, but obviously Nick (Chubb) is going through a pretty serious injury. Rehab, too. Has it helped being around him if you have been?

“Yes. We rehabbed together my first couple weeks here, so it was great just to be with somebody and just rehab with the guys, honestly, just being a part of the running back room. And obviously, Nick (Chubb) is one of the best backs in the league, so I can’t wait to learn from him. We came out together, known him for a while now, so I’m super excited to work with him, and it’s helped me out a lot mentally.”


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