Keeping Hillis And Leonard?August 3rd, 2013
Listening between the lines of rockstar general manager’s radio interview today on WDAE-AM 620, Joe got the distinct feeling that Peyton Hillis is impressing and giving the Bucs the intense competition they craved among backup running backs and fullbacks.
Dominik called the Bucs’ depth at the positions perhaps the best ever in Bucs history.
“Running back is about a deep a running back group that we’ve ever had here that I can remember in terms of talent at the fullback and tailback position,” Dominik said.
WDAE host Tom Krasniqi asked Dominik the money question: “Is it fair to say that Brian Leonard and Peyton Hillis are fighting for maybe one spot on this roster?”
“No, I wouldn’t say that. I think it’s a very good question,” Dominik said. “I think we’re going to keep the best 53 we can. And if that means that one of them can’t dress because of how we got the numbers, if they both make it, that’s one of those things. You love that problem. That’s what we’re hoping for. Right now, they’re both competing hard and I know they both want to make this roster. They’re doing a great job mentally and physically with the ball. Doing the right things, the little things. The pass protection, pushing the ball up the field, just catching the ball. It’s all those things that are really important if you’re going to be behind Doug Martin if we have to turn to you a lot, or just a little bit that we can trust you.”
A lot of the eventual Hillis decision, aside from his performance in preseason games, likely will come down to how well Leonard and rookie Mike James play special teams. The Bucs will surely carry four running backs, but they won’t keep two who don’t play special teams. Hillis is not a special teams player, so he told Joe last week.