KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) Tyreek Hill understands that people are going to be skeptical of him, that there are many Chiefs fans who don't believe the speedy return man deserves a second chance.
He brought it upon itself when he laid his hands on his pregnant girlfriend.
''Those guys, those fans, they have every right to be mad at me because I did something wrong, and I just let my emotions get the best of me and I shouldn't have done it,'' he said. ''They have every right to be mad. But guess what? I'm going to come back and be a better man, be a better citizen.''
The Chiefs selected Hill in the fifth round of last weekend's draft, despite pleading guilty last August to abusing and strangling his girlfriend. The pick was sharply criticized on social media, and many Chiefs fans have said that they are dropping season tickets or planning to boycott games.
Hill, who joined other rookies in Kansas City on Saturday for the start of a three-day minicamp, said he hadn't heard about the backlash. But he also wasn't wasting his time looking for reactions.
''I try not to think about all that. The only thing I'm really thinking of is just doing my counseling and playing football. That's it,'' Hill said. ''I'm just trying to be a better man and help this team. I try not to worry about all the social media talk. I deleted all that.''
Hill was one of the Big 12's most dynamic return men before the 2014 incident, which ultimately got him kicked off the Oklahoma State team. He spent last season at West Alabama, where he juggled school and football with regular counseling sessions and other court-mandated service work.
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey insisted the franchise did its ''due diligence'' on Hill before the draft, and that included speaking with coaches at Oklahoma State and West Alabama; family members; his friends; and even the Oklahoma prosecutor who handled his case.
Dorsey knew the selection would be touchy given the attention placed on domestic violence.
''This is not about touchdowns. This is not about football. I understand it's about people and lives and communities,'' Dorsey said. ''And that's why I want you all to realize one thing: We have done a lot of research with this thing. And that's where I'm coming from as the man and the person.''
Dorsey said the Chiefs are convinced that Hill is ''trying to right the wrong,'' though he declined to say whether the club will ask him to do any additional community service work.
Hill arrived in Kansas City on Friday and had already spoken to Dorsey, coach Andy Reid and Chiefs owner Clark Hunt. He said the players in the practice facility ''welcomed me in just like a brother,'' and that Reid instructed him to ''work hard and you'll be all right.''
''I'm sensitive to the situation. I get it,'' Reid said. ''I've talked to women on the other side of this, on the receiving side, so I'm very sensitive to that. A lot of guys don't try to right the wrong. I give the kid credit for doing that, and he's working really hard at that.''
Precisely where Hill fits into the Chiefs roster is another issue entirely.
Special teams coach Dave Toub has compared him to Devin Hester, whom he coached when he was with the Bears, and it's possible that Hill will become the primary kick and punt returner.
Whether he is able to contribute on offense remains a question mark.
''He's an explosive athlete. Obviously he's got return ability,'' Reid said. ''He's had success as a player when he's been on the field and that's what enticed us to look at him.''
Even if the reward happened to come with a fairly hefty risk.
''I'm not much on the crystal ball and looking into the future. We do enough homework where we feel that he's headed in the right direction,'' Reid said. ''I'm not here to judge. I am not the almighty. I'm not saying that at all by any means, but from what we gathered, and we tried to be as thorough as we could with it, we felt that he deserved an opportunity.''
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