The next time you hear the Denver Broncos mourn their sub-par running game, or you hear analysts bemoan that sub-par running game on their behalf, keep in mind that Josh McDaniels traded this guy for Brady Quinn(notes):
This guy is Peyton Hillis(notes), who once ran with Darren McFadden(notes) and Felix Jones(notes) in the Arkansas backfield that gave birth to the Wildcat. He was selected in the seventh round of the 2008 draft by the Mike Shanahan empire that predated McDaniels' current reign, and led the Broncos in rushing yards in Shanny's final season in the Mile High City. That Hillis did so with just 343 yards in 68 carries makes the feat a tad less impressive, but still ... Hillis saw just 13 carries in his second year as McDaniels went with other options, and he was traded to the Browns for Quinn, the eternal backup, and two draft picks in March of 2010.
What has Hillis done since signing on with the Browns? Oh, not much. He's just scored a touchdown in every game this year, including the amazing catch shown above. Going into Week 5, he was tied with Jacksonville's Maurice Jones-Drew(notes) for eighth in the NFL in rushing yards with 322, and he has more rushing plays of 20 yards or more than Chris Johnson.
Broncos quarterback Kyle Orton's(notes) great year has made Quinn's involvement irrelevant, and against the Baltimore Ravens today, Quinn was a healthy scratch - Tim Tebow(notes), who the Broncos selected in the 2010 draft, was the second quarterback. McDaniels has made sone personnel moves that turned out very well (like the Jay Cutler(notes) trade that brought Orton to Denver in the first place), but it's pretty clear that he missed the boat completely on Peyton Hillis.
- Josh McDaniels
- Peyton Hillis