Is there a role for running back Peyton Hillis in the revamped New York Giants offense? Let's focus on Hillis as we continue our player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
2013 Season In Review
Hillis did an admirable job for the Giants after they rescued him off the football scrap heap midway through the season. Hillis began the season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but never appeared in a game and was cut in late September. The running back-needy Giants claimed him October 18, and he had 18 carries for 36 yards and five receptions for 45 yards just three days later as the Giants won their first game of the season after an 0-6 start, defeating the Minnesota Vikings, 23-7.
Hillis appeared in seven games, carrying the ball 73 times for 247 yards (3.38 yards per carry) and catching 13 passes. The Giants were impressed enough by the 28-year-old Hillis to sign him to a two-year, $1.8 million contract.
2014 Season Outlook
The Giants might have been impressed with Hillis' work, especially since he came in mid-season and contributed immediately, but not so impressed they were willing to hand him the keys to the running game. As Giants' fans know, the team signed free-agent running back Rashad Jennings and drafted Andre Williams. The Giants are still waiting to find out if they will have the services of 2012 first-round pick David Wilson.
"That's been the story ever since I got in the league. They always draft another back, you just have to go out there and do your best and hopefully things work out," Hillis said during OTAs. "I feel great. I feel alert, I feel alive this year. I just feel ... it finally feels like football. I've had a rough few seasons but I really feel that this year that things could turn around."
The 6-foot-1, 240-pound Hillis is not a speedy or shifty runner. He runs hard, however, goes where the play is designed to go and gets the yardage available. He can catch the ball and pass protect. Hillis should find a part-time role with the Giants. How much he plays, however, might depend on the health and performance of the other players mentioned.