Showcasing Peyton Hillis

August 23rd, 2013

The Bucs have little use for Peyton Hillis.

Doug Martin is the superstar in the backfield stable. Veteran Brian Leonard played very well against the Ravens’ first team and was called “a winner” by Greg Schiano. And rookie Mike James had a breakout game last week in New England, and the organization has been very high on his team-first attitude and versatility since April’s NFL Draft.

Hillis will not leapfrog any of those guys on the depth chart, and both Hillis and Schiano have said Hillis is not a special teams player.

But what’s intriguing about Hillis is his potential trade value and how the Bucs could try and showcase him a bit in Miami on Saturday. Hillis already has 22 preseason carries for 86 yards.

Running backs typically drop like flies around the NFL, and rockstar general manager may just be able to snag a sixth- or seventh-round pick for Hillis, who is sure to get a ton of carries in the preseason finale. Not every team has running back depth like the Bucs, and Joe would be surprised if Schiano would gamble that Hillis, and the baggage of his past, would be content and quiet as the new captain of the inactive list in Tampa.

As for the reigning captain of the inactive list, running back Michael Smith, he was injured during the Pats-Bucs preseason game and was walking in the dreaded walking boot this week at One Buc Palace. Joe suspects Smith won’t make the team but could become a prime practice-squad target.

34 Responses to “Showcasing Peyton Hillis”

  1. Snook Says:

    Agreed. Sure glad the Bucs upgraded Blount with Leonard.

  2. Lynch Says:

    I find this hard to believe

  3. Splengo Says:

    Michael Smith not eligible for practice squad. Was on 53 man active roster for 1year even though he was was activated to play in most of the games.

  4. lightningbuc Says:

    I’m with Lynch. Any team could have had him a month ago, and any team will be able to have him in another week or so.

  5. Adam L. Says:

    I am BIG on the Peyton Hillis bandwagon.

    I think bringing him into the fold would create a “Thunder & Lightning” backfield that the Bucs haven’t seen since Dunn and Alstott. I can see Martin in 3 quarters getting these NFC South idiots to run themselves out of gas and then you bring in Hillis in the 4th quarter as the closer to pound on tired bodies.

  6. Lynch Says:

    Aren’t we questioning who will start at FB? Isn’t Leonard getting that look? I see Hillis on this team.

  7. Kryq Says:

    We only seen one game from Leonard I don’t know how he makes the team already, I also see Hillis making the team to and smith the odd man out.

  8. Mr Sanchez Says:

    no way they get rid of Hillis

  9. Joe Says:

    @Lynch – Joe talked to Leonard about playing fullback, and he hasn’t done that since college, only a little his rookie season. Leonard also said he’s down 15 pounds since then and is not preparing at fullback.

    As for Hillis was free a month ago, that’s not really relevant. If a team needs a No. 2 and Hillis looks good again Saturday, perhaps that could score the Bucs a seventh-round pick. Not every team values those picks like Dominik does.

  10. Joe Says:

    @Kryq – Leonard is a lock for the roster. Hand-picked, low-mileage Schiano guy who also was on a playoff team three of the past four years.

  11. Red86 Says:

    Don’t get why we would trade Hillis now. Our first team O Line has be horrible this preseason. Leonard, Hillis, then James was effective with that horrible run blocking. Leonard and Hillis was good early and james did good against that Pats 2nd string.

    Trading Hillis now would be very premature. With the Nicks situation, there is no certainty the O Line would get better against an aggressive defense in the middle. The Center and Guards area has been the issue all preseason. Beside, why trade for someone that may be cut. (This is from other teams perspective. Draft picks aren’t monopoly money.)

    I’m excited for this season, but if this middle 3 on the o line can’t step up, then I’m not seeing a very good season this year. Martin can’t run well in that mess. Long pass plays won’t work due to instant pressure. Play action is pointless. It’s not going to be pretty when the quickest way to the QB and RB isn’t blocking well. That alone would greatly eliminate most of the playbook. I predict more rollout and screen plays if this is the case. Even a couple of end around…sadly to keep the defense on it heels about blitzing.

  12. Splengo Says:

    On Smith: should read – not activated

  13. BucsfaninChina Says:

    @Red86 what do any of your points have to do with Hillis? Yeah, our interior line isnt ideal, but neither was last years and we have better depth this year than last. The sky isnt falling… yet.

    Hillis’ lack of versatility is probably whats going to keep him off this team. Besides, the way he runs so upright he is a walking target waiting to get creamed – only a matter of time before he will take up a roster spot on the bench. Would find it very hard to believe a team would bite on a trade based on the sole fact that the Bucs will most likely drop him (remember 49ers and Eric Wright?). Lets hope I get proven wrong and Hillis embarrasses the fins

  14. Neil Says:

    I hope Hillis is on the team as well. If Martin got injured, Hillis has been a featured back in the past and caught 60 passes in his monster season. Leonard seems solid, but is not a featured back. And James had one good preseason game. Of course I hope nothing ever happens to Doug Martin, he’s the main man…but if anything did, I’d be more content knowing Hillis was there.

  15. tamparob Says:

    I would personally rather see Hillis over an extra TE. I have real concerns about Doug Martin especially after his “knockout” against the Falcons, and “bell ringing but don’t call it a concussion” again last week. Look what happened to Jahvid Best, and dozens of other promising RBs. While James and Smith could be good backups I’d much prefer Hillis- he could become the feature back if anything (heaven forbid) happens with DM.

  16. tamparob Says:

    (Amen, Neil.. you posted your comment while I was typing mine)

  17. buc4life24 Says:

    Why not keep him w/ James and Leonard playing FB? Is 3 RB’s and 2 FB’s out of the question? Only keeping 2 QB’s (if we go that route) would help in the numbers game. I didn’t crunch the numbers, but it could work…right?

    Trade bait is an option, but I like Hillis and want to see him ressurect his career here in Tampa!

  18. Adam L. Says:

    God forbid the Bucs have ACTUAL DEPTH somewhere on their roster with two LEGIT starters at one position.

  19. Solaire of Astora Says:

    Remember two weeks ago when everyone was swooning over Blount and cursing our
    RB depth. Ahhhh good times

  20. Paul Says:

    Yah right. Unless he pisses off Schiano he’ll make the roster.

  21. stevek Says:

    Trading spare parts for a 7th round pick puts us in the playoffs, or gives us a better chance at playoffs, how?

    Keep Hillis, pound the rock.

    Abraham, Bennett or Umeneyoura would’ve looked good in Pewter.

    If we fail to reach 30 + team sacks, then Dominick will face scrutiny. IMO, 30 or less sacks as a team, no playoffs.

  22. BucsfaninChina Says:

    4 RBs, probably 2 FBs…. there is a difference between quality depth and being overloaded at a position

  23. Tim Says:

    I think it would be a mistake not to keep him, he adds valuable depth at a position Schiano prizes. I believe with a steady dose of Martin early in the game, Hillis would represent that big body defenses dread to tackle in the 4th qtr.

    To make room for him carry two QBs and not three. Freeman has proven to be durable and I think Glennon has shown enough in preseason to prove he can handle the back up roll. Not to mention we can carry another QB on the practice squad.

  24. warren Says:

    Why not trade Hillis to Denver for Jacob Tamme

  25. Biff Barker Says:

    Leonard is a lock no doubt. Smith will be getting a second boot soon, but not the kind you walk in.
    So, it’s between James and Hillis. James was drafted, is versatile and plays ST. Has the requisite Buccaneer man grin too. Smile when coach talks!
    Hillis runs with the power the James lacks.
    How much to the Bucs value this? We’ll find out soon.

  26. BucDan Says:


    Red’s point was that it doesn’t matter who we keep based on who has looked the best so far if the interior line sucks. Which I have to agree with based on ‘first team’ play this preseason.

    Hillis is a banger no doubt, but I do not think Schiano is the ‘Run by committee’ kind of coach. Martin, Leonard, Hillis/James….. Definitely a hard numbers game when it comes down to it. Think of last year when we got rid of DT Gilberry due to projected play when the numbers game came up. Went to Cincy and put up the actual numbers that mattered.

    It happens every year. Players play how you do not expect. Some on the better side than others. Funny how we are always surprised. Damn Catch-22’s…..

  27. SacBucs Says:

    Dude we need to cut Lorig or better yet let ninja turtle play DE. Thats A rah guy remember. The team is almost cleansed of radios Incompitence. Let larsen and james play fb. Let martin leonard and hillis be are hb’s.

    We are gonna regret it. Dont we supposed to be a run first team. Do runningbacks have short careers. Dont they get hurt often.

    We need all of them!

  28. Bucky23 Says:

    where in the world is jeff demps? and yes i know he isn’t going to play RB

  29. Patrick Says:

    Yes, there’s no doubt that Brian Leonard and Mike James are better players than Peyton Hillis! (Sarcasm).

  30. BucDan Says:


    It’s about trust and Schiano knows and trusts Leonard to be a serviceable #2 at RB. At least that is what it seems and what it looks like so far.

  31. RustyRhino Says:

    I hope we keep Hillis and Leonard with Martin. James looks like he can run too. I like the “Attack” the hole attitude Hillis And Leonard have so far displayed. A nice problem for our good RB coach Byner to have.

  32. MadMax Says:

    Smith had a great return against the pats….but Leonard and James have been looking AWESOME! I like Hillis too….man, Id hate to be in that decision circle 🙁

  33. Couch Fan Says:

    I wouldn’t. Those are good problems to have…. which he havent had a lot of over the last several years.

  34. Couch Fan Says: