Though he hasn't taken to San Diego soil as a member of the home team since 2012, Ronnie Hillman is excited for a reunion with America's Finest City.
After describing the past 24 hours as "crazy", Hillman practiced for the first time as a member of the Chargers on Wednesday.
"I'm just excited to be back in a familiar area," Hillman said. "I liked it out here and the time that I spent out here was special. It's where I started my collegiate career."
The former SDSU Aztec said he met a lot of his new teammates for the first time on Wednesday, but has connections with Melvin Ingram, as well as Isaiah Burse and Orlando Franklin from his time with the Broncos.
Hillman also has a familiar connection with a very important member from the Bolts' coaching staff. Head Coach Mike McCoy was Hillman's offensive coordinator during the back's rookie season in Denver and said the understanding of the system was key to claiming him off waivers.
"I was in Denver when we drafted him, so (we're) bringing a player in Ronnie who knows the system and that (we're) familiar with," McCoy mentioned. "He can come in and play…He's a talented player. He was productive for us in the short amount of time I had him there. He's a guy who can come in and help us. He has a good understanding of the system…he can go in there and be effective this week."
During his stints with Denver and Minnesota, Hillman appeared in 53 games and has 471 carries for 1,895 yards and 12 touchdowns. As for what he can bring in the passing game, Hillman recorded 71 receptions for 474 yards and a score through the air. His ability to be a dual-threat back is something he's greatly looking forward to bringing to San Diego.
"I'm a playmaker," Hillman added. "My goal is to go out there and just play ball; that's the plan. As for pass catching, I don't want to toot my own horn! I'm kidding, but coming out of the backfield, it can be a mismatch. I think I can create a lot of mismatches and get the upper hand on a lot of defenders."
Along with creating mismatches for opposing defenses, Hillman says Chargers fans will get a player who thrives on the thrill of the game.
"They'll get excitement. I go out there and just have fun and try to be an exciting player because I feed off the crowd. I want to just go out there and put on a show."