Hillis Now Fighting For A Helmet

September 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.

38 Responses to “Hillis Now Fighting For A Helmet”

  1. BFFL Says:

    He’s a possible trade in the future

  2. Mark Sanchez's Hairband Says:

    Hillis > Blount

    So Joe agrees depth at RB is better now than last season? Amazing considering his love fest with the under-performing Blount.

  3. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think we will trade Hillis & get a pick for him or a player we need.
    When Lorig returns we have all the RBs we need unless the offensive plan is different this year.
    I’d like to see us pass to Martin more and pass to the FB more. Add a little dink & dunk to our running game and long pass.

  4. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    “Fighting for Helmet”….will probably be Mike James.

    Add a QB, DE, CB, Tim Wright, OL, LB & one other player & you have your 8….

    They will want to feature Hillis to trade him.

    We are going to be thinner this year because of the 3 QBs…

  5. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    Joe says
    “When the hell will the NFL ditch the stupid rule of not activating every player for every game?”

    That’s a good point. What is the reason that rull is even there? Personally, I also think a 60 man roster would reduce injuries.

    I think a minimum of 50 active players would be okay at the discretion of the teams, with a max of 53 for now. There could be instances where a team chooses not to make a player active, and there are also injuries to consider.

    The Bucs actually have a 54 man roster for now because Demps is an exemption.

  6. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    My theory on Hillis is that he earned his spot in the last game. I don’t think the current plan is to trade him. I think because he can play FB and HB he’ll remain with the team.

    I didn’t think he would even make the team originally. But he has steadily gotten better. Ball security is still a concern of mine but Schiano amd Sully seem to be capable of fixing that issue with players.

  7. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Bonzai

    I agree he earned his spot in the last game….I think it impressed Schiano that he went back in the game hurt.

    But…..I still think he may be traded because we have needs elswhere….and have a pretty good stable of RBs….
    Actually, we need to use Lorig more or replace him with someone more versitile like Hillis.
    I’d love to get back to the Alstott/Dunn days.

  8. Biff Barker Says:

    Trade Hillis? Don’t think so. The guy has the ability to punish, chew clock, and take the football out of a traditionally shaky QB’s hand.

  9. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Biff Barker

    So did LGB….and we have Brian Leonard for some of that.

  10. Biff Barker Says:

    For the record Joe, you did have the LGB, epic proportions mancrush going on.
    Funny how hitting the hole hard is one of Leonard and Hillis” strengths. Not saying these guys are anywhere near as explosive beyond the second level, but you will at least get a couple of positive yards each carry.

  11. Illuminati Says:

    Why is the age of majority 18? why is the drinking age 21? Why do you have to be 35 to be president?

    Why not only a 38-man roster? Why not a 70-man roster?

    They’re just arbitrary numbers. It is what it is.

  12. Pete 422 Says:

    Hopefully he can be used as a closer on Sunday in the 4th quarter.

  13. 1976Buc Says:

    Speaking of Blount he just made the 53 man roster on a very talented team rich in RB’s.

  14. gotbbucs Says:

    What are we really going to get for him in a trade? Nothing valuable enough to really improve the roster.
    If he doesn’t get a helmet on game day it is because they severely over-thought things. I don’t want to hear the “he doesn’t play special teams” excuse. He can carry the ball for an entire game if need be and he knows how to find the endzone. Brian Leonard, to this point in his career, hasn’t done much of that. If Leonard gets a hat over Hillis, it’s only because of his Rutgers connection with Schiano. Also, the fact that we’ve been cross training our TE’s at FB is more than just some preseason wrinkle to throw teams off. I could see us activating Martin, Hillis, and Leonard on game days and going more single back, two TE sets and motioning TE’s in to the backfield to play FB.
    Without much of a slot recever threat, we need all the RB’s that can catch balls that we can get. Possibly motioning Martin out to the slot more often and leaving Hillis alone in the backfield. Could be a difficult formation to defend.

  15. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    @ Gotbucs

    I agree with you if we are changing our scheme….and I think we should….but if we don’t, we only need two of these three….Hillis, Leonard & Lorig….
    Hillis would bring more in a trade than we gave up to get him and thats all that really counts.

  16. Andrew 1 Says:

    “When the hell will the NFL ditch the stupid rule of not activating every player for every game?”

    Im with you on that one Joe.

  17. Morgan Says:

    If Martin goes down, Hillis will come in handy.

    The “New Schiano Order” is old shit. Time to update your material.

  18. teacherman777 Says:

    Peyton Hillis is a stud.

    Did you see him truck people this preseason?

    Hes the real deal, and I am really happy we have.

    Mike James is just decent. Thats it.

    Peyton Hillis can destroy DB’s.

    They dont like tackliing people like him.

  19. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    John Conner would be ten times better than Hillis 😛

  20. Joe Says:

    The “New Schiano Order” isn’t going anywhere.

  21. Eric Says:

    Fantastic depth?


  22. AmbushBuc Says:

    Hillis is terrible, and is locker room poison. That he made the roster speaks more of the team’s total lack of depth.

  23. SeanyMac in SC Says:

    Hillis is a proven back in the NFL. I think he adds great value to the back field. I’m glad we kept him over some other Rutgers unknown.

  24. BIlly Bob Says:

    He could be a great versatile fullback for the Bucs. To have a full back fast enough to get to the outside and make a log jamming block on the outside LB is a huge weapon in the NFL. Top that off with a fullback who can run extremely well with the ball or catch out of the backfield is a bonuse. I am all for developing him into a great fullback. It is not like he never played there before

  25. MR.T Says:

    I agree that the 45 man game day restriction needs to go, I like others don’t see any reason for it, if there are 53 man on the roster let them all be available to play. Regarding Hillis, I’m glad we kept him, you can never have too many good runners and he performed well in the preseason and is a proven 1000 yard rusher in the NFL, the same can’t be said of Leonard or James. I can see him coming in during the 3rd or 4th quarters and giving a tired defense fits. It would be fun to see a Mike Allstott clone out there running over people.

  26. Eric Says:

    If only we had the driving force of the team back…..

  27. PRBucFan Says:

    Lol wait I thought he wasn’t going to make the team cause he was “camp fodder and not a Buccaneer man”?

    I love this pick up, I think playing him as a full back and having both he and Dougie on the field together as a 1-2 punch is going to be a deadly combo. Let’s hope he stays healthy.

  28. PRBucFan Says:

    Mike James is also a beast

    As a Cane fan I can attest to that. Let him grow even more and we have a scary bunch.

  29. Mr Lucky Says:

    I originally thought Hillis would make the team. However he appeared to be in the doghouse after preseason game 3. It was game 4 when he showed his tenancity to play that won him a spot. I’d like to see more 2 back sets with Hillis & Martin

  30. BuccaneerBonzai Says:

    I can understand a minimum game day active roster. I just do not agree with it being limited to less than the entire roster. If a whole roster is healthy…make them active.

  31. Tomcin Says:

    Mike James looked decent enough running the ball but can’t block. I would have put him on the practice squad & kept Norwood or Robinson.

  32. Carlos at NFLLN Says:

    I’ve got to agree. Hillis’ value is greater than the other guys, but we need to worry about who will be best for the team’s success on the field. I don’t know if he is that answer though. Hillis surprised me in the past. I just don’t see that spark in him anymore.

  33. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We signed Russell Shepherd…..WR

    Here are some LSU highlights…..as RB & WR

    The guy looks like a player!!!


  34. Adam Says:

    I was rooting for him to make it. I can see him and Martin being like Dunn and Alstott. Let Martin wear them out for 3 quarters then use Hillis to pound on tired bodies in the 4th quarter.

  35. Morgan Says:

    with Goode and Underwood cut today, there are no guarantees that players on the fence like James, Hillis will be around much longer as Coach Schiano and Dominik tweak things…….


    Forget Lorig! Make a play for (The Terminator) John Conner. The Bengals cut him. He’s a blocking beast!

  37. Biff Barker Says:

    Mike James is a beast? Not from what I’ve seen.

  38. PRBucFan Says:

    Good for you