Keeping Hillis And Leonard?

August 3rd, 2013

Dominik weighs in

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.

15 Responses to “Keeping Hillis And Leonard?”

  1. Mike J Says:

    Twixt the RB group & the WR group, only two QB’s are likely on the 53-man roster.Come to think, the O-line bunch ain’t too shabby, either.

  2. stvcl Says:

    Vet RB who thinks he’s too good to play special teams? Uh…that’s not a Buccaneer Man…cya.

  3. Matt Says:

    Hillis looked good in practice on monday. I hope he makes it before smith

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    What about Lorig?….Is his job safe. After all Leonard & Hillis are RB/FB. Have we gotten enough from our FB position?
    Going in, everyone seems satisfied with Lorig and considered him a lock…..not so fast!!!

  5. Biff Barker Says:

    I don’t see why Hillis wouldn’t be willing to play special teams if asked. He’s got enough talent to contribute somewhere.

  6. Buc'n Junkie Says:

    Are we going with 3 QBs? Maybe after preseason they will decide to go with only 2, like last year. Which would open a spot to carry 5 RBs or any other position in need of depth. I mean why not, if TKras says that Glennon is out performing Freeman to this point, why do we need Orlovsky beyond preseason.

  7. PRBucFan Says:

    Hillis could just end up being listed as the second FB

  8. PRBucFan Says:

    And per some of you Hillis was supposed to just be “camp fodder”.. lol

  9. Matt Says:

    Leonard is a lock as third-down/special teamer.

    I have to imagine with good camps Smith and James make the team. But if either is so-so, Bucs go with experience and keep Hillis around because of his versatility and experience.

  10. Mr Lucky Says:

    Hillis makes the team no question.

  11. ButIt941 Says:

    I really liked the style of running Hillis provides (minus the fumbles). I think in Cleveland he got a big Ego with the Madden cover and all the hype. Then he got humbled in KC with the injury and all. I’ve actually wanted him as a short yardage/3rd down backer behind Blount and even more so now with Doug Martin. Schiano can fix the fumbling and it is all in his EGO. I think Schiano can also keep that intact, if so there is no reason why Hillis couldn’t flourish under this system. He has the skill set to be better then Leanord at either FB or RB positions.

  12. ButIt941 Says:

    Lorig is a Decent FB hybrid. He can lay a mean block and doesn’t have horrible hands. But he is NOT a weapon or a true threat. It would be awesome to have a true FB again. Hillis and Leanord both can provide this. My dream scenario:
    1st string:
    RB – Doug Martin, Brian Leanord, Mike James
    FB – Payton Hillis, Erik Lorig (possibly moved to TE)
    KR – Mike Smith, Jeff Demps (one can dream)

  13. Mean D Says:

    The can both stay – as long as they never say the forbidden “N’ word!

  14. scubog Says:

    Don’t forget Mike James is eligible for the Practice Squad. Hillis and Leonard aren’t. I believe there will be 4 RB’s (Martin, Hillis, Leonard & James) and 1 FB (Lorig) on the final 53 man roster. QB Orlovsky will be released barring injury. Since it’s unlikely he will be signed elsewhere he would still be available.

  15. teacherman777 Says:

    Mike James will go totje practice squad. Fact.

    Leonard is not getting cut. Schiano loves him. Plus he is also a FB.

    Peyton Hillis is a 3rd string RB and backup FB.

    Erik Lorighas steadily improved each year. He is not bad. But not great either. I would keep him.

    That means.

    Doug Martin starting RB.

    Erik Lorig starting FB

    Brian Leonard 2nd string RB. 2nd string FB

    Peyton Hillis- 3rd string RB, bruiser, short yardage. 3rd string FB.

    That means we have 3 FB’s and 4 RB’s!!

    That is crazy depth!

    I love it!