Hillis Now Fighting For A HelmetSeptember 1st, 2013
Baggage-toting running back Peyton Hillis won the respect of the New Schiano Order, landing a final 53-man-roster spot yesterday. Now Hillis will battle to wear a helmet on Sundays as part of the 46-man, game-day roster.
(When the hell will the NFL ditch the stupid rule of not activating every player for every game?)
Injuries are playing in Hillis’ favor. Starting fullback Erik Lorig didn’t play all preseason after his calf injury this summer got better then worse then better again. Lorig only recently returned to practice. Hillis was a college fullback and has logged significant time there as a pro. Rookie Mike James is no fullback, and Brian Leonard is too small to log any significant time there.
Then there’s the mysterious question of how much faith the Bucs actually have in Hillis.
Do they believe he can be a punishing short-yardage back? Is Greg Schiano in love with his downhill, hit-the-hole ability, something LeGarrette Blount didn’t like to do? Will Mike Sullivan look to get creative with three running backs, Doug Martin, Leonard and Hillis, who can catch the ball well out of the backfield?
Joe’s not sure what the Bucs have in Hillis, but they do have fantastic depth at running back. It’s light years better than the nightmarish Kregg Lumpkin mess of 2011.