A team, desperate for a win. A player, desperate for a job. Manning and Peyton? The resurrection of a Juggernaut.
For some time now I've been riding the bandwagon of a player I felt, whose talents exceed the norm. A combination of size, speed, and coordination reminiscent of John Riggins, or Mike Alstott but better. Any time you see a player that flashes so uniquely, you want him to play for your favorite team. I wanted him in the backfield with a Manning, just didn't expect it to be Eli.
Attended Arkansas. Played running back, fullback, punt return, and kick return. He opened up holes for 2 future NFL players, Darren McFadden and Felix Jones, in the much revered SEC, helping the 2 backs lead the league as a 1-2 combo..... In the SEC. So he's pretty good at blocking. Got drafted by Denver in the 7th as a fullback(not a running back). Due to injuries, he was thrust into the starting role. Did good. Got hurt. Shanahan fired. Enter McDaniels. The 1st thing Josh did was begin to bring in players that fit for HIS scheme. Drafted Knowshon Moreno in the 1st round. With McDaniels clearly wanting to establish HIS guys, Hillis got 13 carries for the entire season, but he was the fullback. Didn't get along with Josh(none of the shanahan carry-overs did), and was traded for Brady Quinn and a 6th rounder(so he didn't suck, Josh is just brilliant). Went to Cleveland and was behind the other backs(was on the roster as TIGHT END, and fullback). Fought his way to the top. Had a good season(despite fumbles). The next season he tried to negotiate a contract extension, during the season. A no no in Mike Holmgren's book. Sat out due to strep throat on the advise of his agent(he fired that agent btw). Sat out more because of supposed hamstring injuries. Was in a rift with his teammates who wanted him to perform despite the contract issues and his teammates cited "He Quit" on the team(so maybe the injuries weren't as bad as reported). Hillis claimed to want to give Cleveland a "hometown" discount if they could work something out when the season concluded(so he must not have wanted too much $). They let him leave to free agency. He went to KC. Didn't get a lot of carries. Went to Tampa Bay. Schit-on-yu(Schiano) sucks. Blah blah blah. Etc, etc. Sorry that took that long. Want more, check Wikipedia. You'll be sold by the accolades.
I hope I put all the negatives about the kid in the brief because I pay attention to his skill set/skills. He came out of college and has maintained a weight of around 250. Ran a high 4.6 if I can recall but with his frame, a 4.9 would be good. Got around 20 reps in bench press(which isn't good)but his strength is his legs, gaining fame by strapping trucks to his back and carrying them through the neighborhood as a workout. Trucks..... So physically, he's barely human. What makes him unique however, is his agility, and versatility. Again, I will put in caps that he has been Listed as a RUNNING BACK, FULLBACK, TIGHT END(has Great hands, not good), PUNT RETURNER, KICK RETURNER, AND SPECIAL TEAMS going from his college days to pro. He made his hay as a Fullback, so he's best at BLOCKING. However he has the agility to leap defenders. The coordination to catch the ball Away from his body(a few 1 handed catches). Great field awareness(identifying blitzes in pass protection). Etc. Etc. I was in a rift or 2 with my fellow Mile Highers about the guy having anything left in the tank. No one has given me a valid football reason why the guy isn't still good besides fumbles(a valid reason). He had 8 the season he got all the carries, but 3 since(for his entire career before and after). Most times people say he has nothing left because of rifts with teammates/organizations. However, this was the Denver Broncos(at the end of Shanahan's era, and Beginning of McDummies), Cleveland Browns(.....), Kansas City Chiefs(they have Jamaal Charles, nobody else should carry the ball except McCluster), and the Tampa Bay Bucs(Schit-on-u.......), all of which I consider organizations in shambles at the time. He could never be confused with a Moss or TO by no stretch of the imagination, and to suggest such would be reaching. The accusation of him being a diva holds no merit to me, because he gained the rep in CLE. That organization sucks, and Joe Thomas talks too much. He needs to learn from Bill Bellychick to keep things in house. Peyton did. He never spoke bad about any organization or player(like TO or Moss). But Joe Thomas has, on more than 1 occasion(I still don't know what gives you the right to talk about another man's contract situation, but thats IMO). So I wanted Hillis in Denver. Again. The coaches(during the off-season)were putting emphasis on versatility because it works well scheme wise, and helps masks injury(if you can move 1 player to multiple positions or tasks). That's why we were sure Hester would stick around(though I think he's a poor-man's Hillis, not quite as dynamic). Peyton's familiar with the Mile High conditions, and by playing so many positions, shows an ability to pick up quickly. We had just got a rookie back who I thought would do better with a TRUE lead blocker, and a 2nd year guy that, if you get him to the 2nd level of the defense, can be lethal. He's Great(not good)at catching out of the backfield, and very good at pass protection. McGahee, or Moreno was on the outs(if not both), so it sounded like it made sense. Lets just say I was alone in my assessment.
THE FUTURE(Bet some Kool-Aid)
Now I'm not the 1 to harp on being right or wrong as bad as Rodney Adams(no shots, you still MY dog :-). But I'm willing to bet a BIG Spiked cup of orange aid, that this guy tears the Doors, off the Heeeinges, for the Giants. They are currently 3 games out of the play-offs. I don't think they make it, unless they get there with a 6-10 record(which I think they'll get close to). Remember, I'm the guy with the bold prediction that the Bengals and Lions would win their divisions so I'm not scured of BOLD predictions. I think he helps with their protection issues(Eli upright, they score often with those 3 WR's). That's part of the reason why I wanted him here with a Manning coming off 4 neck surgeries. I seen a game this preseason for the Bucs, where he chipped a nose tackle, and pealed off to stone a blitzing LB up the middle. The guys pretty good at blocking. They're going to utilize him out of the backfield. I think he catches for over 300 yards and 2 TD's, AT minimum, with 10 games left. I think they show packages with him and Jacobs out there similar to the 1 I suggested with him and Hester. Both guys lined up beside the QB for pass protection in a shotgun, and bombs away. OR, an I-formation with him lead blocking(him and Jacobs, scary). Now I know, I know. Some are going to say, "We already had enough backs, they weren't going to add any more backs, they 'Trust' who they drafted". But our backs suck right now. They're experiments afforded time because of the wealth of talent on this team. Turned out pretty good for Knowshon though. He took well to the seasoning. And all jokes aside, I think the other guys should also. But let me be hypothetical for a minute for the sake of a good argument. Between fan-mates. The thing I like about this bet, he isn't on the Broncos, so he can't hurt us if I'm wrong. But if I'm right, and this guy still looks like Peyton F%$#^n Hillis........smh Denver, we missed a gem. Especially if all it took was a Mil, and a bus pass.
He does good, OR
He sucks, always has sucked, and always will suck because of the Madden curse and his diva ways(snap ya fangas).
Tip ya cups gentlemen, and GO BRONCOS!