Sunday, November 6, 2011

Is is time for the Cleveland Browns to move on from Peyton Hillis?

This is a very perplexing question. The Cleveland Browns have taken a big step back from what they were a year ago, especially given their offensive struggles so far in 2012. A large part of the blame rest on Head Coach Pat Shurmur and his decision to take on the role of offensive coordinator. A large piece of blames rests with QB Colt McCoy and his struggles and with the WR corps and their struggles. However, a large part of the blame is the diva like behavior of RB Peyton Hillis.

Peyton had a break out year in 2010, rushing from 1,177 yards. It earned him a spot the 2012 Madden cover. What has followed is a pretty poor showing for a professional athlete. He is in a contract year, and took some bad advice from his agent and sat out a game against the Miami Dolphins when many feel he should have played. He has a nagging injury and skipped some treatment to go get married. He took time to throw footballs off the crossbar in San Francisco when he did not play due to his injury. He is starting to lose his locker room on top of creating a large distraction for his team. There are several reports that his teammates are growing tired of this act. cites Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer that the team is prepared to let Hillis go after the year and test free agency. There, his one great season, added to his diva act of 2012 is not going to get him the big contract he apparently wants.

It seems pretty clear that the Browns will have to move on from him. A young team, in the midst of a rebuild plan, cannot allow one player to so disrupt things. A message has to be sent that this type of behavior will not be accepted by this organization. Since there does not seem to be a veteran in the locker room that can send that message, General Manger Mike Holmgren will have to do it by sending Hillis on his way. To their credit, some Browns' veterans did have an intervention with the RB, and we will have to wait and see what effect that has.

The defense is pretty good, but their young QB is struggling, and the best friend of a struggling QB is a great running game. That is something fellow RB Montario Hardesty cannot do alone. This team needs Hillis to be the guy he was, and if he cannot be that, they need to move for the good of the team.

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