Memo to Josh McDaniels: Let Peyton Hillis Play Tight End

Kevin Roberts@BreakingKevinSenior Writer IJune 11, 2009

DENVER - DECEMBER 7: Fullback/running back Peyton Hillis #22 of the Denver Broncos pounds his fist against the turf as he lays injured against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter of week 14 NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 7, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. Hillis left the game which left the Broncos with one healthy running back, Tatum Bell.(Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images)

(Above: That's the body language of a guy who just lost his job.)

Peyton Hillis, the country boy known best for blocking at Arkansas, rather than running over linebackers, had his chance.

And no, he didn't blow it. At least, not by performing poorly or turning the ball over.

It was just plain, bad luck.

The fact is, Hillis was Mike Shanahan's last resort when running backs started dropping like flies in 2008, and by some miracle, plotting the former fullback into the starting lineup turned out to be the best coaching move Shanahan made last season.

Hillis ultimately found his way on IR, but before he did, he was an absolute magician on the field, making spectacular catches, running through and around defenders, and always having a nose for the first down or goal-line.

It's as simple as this: Hillis is a gamer. The kid can play.

He's stocky and doesn't have 4.4 speed, but he is ultra athletic and versatile, and actually runs in the low 4.5's, making him an ideal prospect for a bruiser at running back.

However, after Shanahan was shown the door, so too were Hillis' dreams of ever starting at tailback again for the Denver Broncos.

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Rather than hold steady and give Hills a chance, after he ran for over 340 yards, five touchdowns, and averaged five yards per carry, new coach Josh McDaniels brought in several washed-up veterans to compete, and then drafted Georgia's Knowshon Moreno.

This, all coming from the guy who drove Jay Cutler out of town.

A regular Ted Thompson.

But I've already made my gripes about all of that. I get it; Hillis isn't a running back in Denvers' mind, and probably not for many other teams, either.

That's fine.

But what isn't fine, is wasting this guy's heart and talent as a blocking back, trying to create a poor man's Mike Alstolt, or worse, not letting him touch the ball at all.

Game tape alone shows how versatile and athletic Hillis is, but a quick glance at the numbers also show his potential to be dominant in several different facets.

So, I say this: If he can't tote the ball, then let him catch it, dance around, and score some touchdowns.

There's just one problem, and his name is Tony Scheffler.

But I've got the perfect solution for McDaniels. Do away with Scheffler, just as he did with Cutler. After all, Scheffler wants more money and is already upset about losing his friend and quarterback.

So kill two birds with one stone. After all, Hillis has great hands, excellent body control, and is a better overall athlete than Scheffler.

Hillis has solid size for a tight end at 6'2'', and at 250 lbs, clearly has the mass to take on defensive ends and linebackers.

We already know he can block, help out in the running game, and after seeing him destroy Miami with seven catches for 116 yards and a touchdown last November, he clearly can catch in traffic, and can get yards after the catch.

The point is, if McDaniels doesn't do something with this kid other than line him up as a blocker, he's making his second dumbest move in only his first season.

Despite Hillis still being on the team, if he's not used properly and allowed to display his abilities, it will be the second complete waste of talent by Denver management and coaching in just one year.

It's perfect, really.

One look at Hillis, and you instantly think-Dallas Clark and Chris Cooley.

That, or one-man wrecking crew.