Tag:Peyton Hillis
Posted on: August 22, 2011 9:09 pm
Edited on: August 22, 2011 9:26 pm
 

Browns, Thomas agree to 7-year, $84M extension

Posted by Ryan Wilson

We don't know if Titans running back Chris Johnson will point to this as more evidence he deserves to be the NFL's highest-paid player, but either way, the Browns have signed left tackle and 2007 first-round pick Joe Thomas to a seven-year, $84 million extension that reportedly includes $44 million in guarantees, a league source tells the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Mary Kay Cabot.

Thomas has been one of the Browns' most consistent players since the team returned to Cleveland in 1999, and he is the cornerstone of an offense that finally appears to have a quarterback in Colt McCoy. (Yes, we're aware of similar conversations about Derek Anderson and Brady Quinn.) Thomas was named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons, has started all 64 games in his four-year career, and has never missed a snap.

"Joe is obviously one of the finer left tackles in the business,'' coach Pat Shurmur said, according to Cabot. "He's a very, very good pass protector. I guess what's impressed me is that he's a fine run-blocker as well. Typically, you find a guy that's good at one and average at the others, but I think Joe is good in both phases, extremely good.

"He's big, has good feet, balance and body control. He has pretty good power for a guy that's a tackle. And he has a feel for the game. Usually what makes a player good is kind of a combination and he's blessed with a lot of those things.''

The Browns' offensive line has been the least of their worries in recent seasons. In addition to the revolving door at quarterback, the running and passing games fell somewhere between inconsistent and nonexistent. Trading for Peyton Hillis prior to the 2010 season immediately upgraded the rushing attack. And the emergence of tight end Evan Moore, and the addition of rookie Greg Little could give McCoy the downfield weapons he'll need to have any chance at success.

Ultimately, it all starts up front with the o-line, and Thomas has been a big part of that.

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Posted on: May 10, 2011 12:20 pm
 

Hillis doesn't believe in curses

Hillis Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Ask Browns RB and Madden 12 coverboy Peyton Hillis about the supposed Madden Curse, and he’ll tell you exactly why he doesn’t believe in it.

“I don’t believe in curses,” Hillis said via the NY Times. “I could get hurt next year, but I don’t believe it has anything to do with the curse. I’m a Christian man and I don’t believe anything could be put in front of me that God can’t take away. I would love to prove everyone wrong and have an exceptional year and not get hurt.”

Honestly,* I don’t think a higher power can stop the momentum the Madden Curse has built during the past decade, beginning with Barry Sanders in 2000 (he retired before the season began), Daunte Culpepper in 2002 (he threw 23 interceptions that year), Michael Vick in 2004 (a broken fibula that year and, um, other off-field issues), Donovan McNabb in 2006 (he tore his ACL) and Brett Favre in 2009 (ask Jenn Sterger about this).

Hopefully, Hillis is an exception to the rule.

*And when I write “honestly,” I’m being completely sarcastic.

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Posted on: May 7, 2011 10:31 pm
 

Madden 12 getting serious graphical upgrades

Posted by Will Brinson



As some of you may know, I'm a bit of a Madden junkie. I reviewed Madden 11 before it dropped last year, and look forward to doing so with Madden 12 this year again, especially after reading this post from Mike Young, Art Director of Madden 12 over at EA Sports' website about the "major graphical upgrades" they're putting in place for the newest rendition. 

For starters, pregame introductions are getting what appears to be a serious overhaul -- pregame is a facet that's been improved in recent years (Can you even remember what the "pregame" looked like five or six years ago? Guh.), it's still an area where the team at EA can find some improvement. They look to have done that this year, not only with the giant flags in the middle of the field (great graphical detail, woo America!, etc.) but with the team introductions as well.

As you can see below, the Bears look pretty sweet coming out of the tunnel.



Now, we just need them to figure out a way to have Ray Lewis do his dance in 3-D so we can get people really pumped up and scare the crap out of kids.

Speaking of scaring kids, the images of Michael Vick below (I kid, I kid) are pretty indicative of how EA's providing an upgrade for player detail and lighting within the game. They've moved to what's called "Linear Lighting," something that was used in NCAA 11 in order to achieve more realistic colors. In Madden 11, you're pretty clearly playing on a virtual world, even as real as the stadium, field, etc., look.



The improvement in player detail should be obvious, albeit subtle -- check the shadows, padding and creases on Vick's jersey, as well as the flak jacket that he's rocking in the right photos. In addition, Young points out that they've got a brand new "head and neck scaling system" in place that will make dudes like Brandon Jacobs and Darren Sproles -- people with weird body types -- not look as cartoonish as they might have in 11. 

One of the most dope things I've seen from this set of upgrades, though, is the 3-D grass that Madden 12 will have, in addition to the "flying turf" you'll see below.



Unlike previous years, you can actually, you know, see the grass a) standing up on the field when it the camera gets close and b) see turf flying. The latter is particularly sensical, because as we've seen from the aforementioned Soldier Field (except in real life), conditions aren't always perfect for football. 

So, yeah, very cool stuff all around. And, sure it may seem uber-nerdy -- and it is! -- but for those of us that play the game, it's a welcome bonus. Besides, it might be the only football we get in 2011!

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Posted on: April 29, 2011 1:20 pm
Edited on: April 29, 2011 1:22 pm
 

Hot Routes 4.29.11 Not all knee-jerk draft stuff

Hot Routes

Posted by Andy Benoit


Cowboys first-round pick Tyron Smith believes he has the potential to be a Pro Bowler and a Hall of Famer. (He might be right about the Hall of Fame potential. But Pro Bowl potential? Who does he think he is?)


Did you happen to catch Nick Saban’s reaction to the announcement of Alabama offensive lineman James Carpenter being drafted in the first round by Seattle? It was one of disbelief, if not controlled shock.


The Falcons are set to report to work on Monday.

The 2015 Super Bowl will be held in either Glendale, AZ or Tampa, FL.


The Panthers drafted Cam Newton first overall. Wait….did you already know that? Be honest.


Gabe Carimi got a text from Jay Cutler last night. (Trying to think of a quick bridge to a Brett Favre joke…..thinking….thinking…….thinking………darn it. Anyone have anything?)


The Browns’ first-round selection wasn’t the only public reading Peyton Hillis did Thursday. The Madden cover boy also took care of the Top 10 List on Letterman. (Topic was top10 perks to being on the cover of Madden ’12. Number eight:, Hillis said, “It gets my name out there. Even I have never heard of me.”)


Could the Dolphins be looking at Colin Kaepernick in Round 2? (If so, would their tendency of picking quarterbacks in the second round be considered an addiction?)


Brandon Marshall is visiting the Dolphins facility, which is good news considering where he was a week ago.


A pitch for an entire San Diego sports complex could be part of the Chargers’ efforts to get a new stadium.


Just because the Raiders had no picks Thursday doesn’t mean their war room wasn’t busy.


Roger Goodell doesn’t blame the fans for booing him.

Justin Tuck on Rex Ryan: “The last time I checked, I have a Super Bowl ring and he doesn't, so if he's proud of coming up short, I guess he should be proud of that." (Ryan actually earned a ring as the D-line coach for the 2000 Ravens.)

 
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Posted on: April 28, 2011 6:17 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 6:23 pm
 

Hillis on Madden 12 cover: 'This is not about me'

Posted by Will Brinson

NEW YORK -- For years, the player chosen to be on the cover of the Madden video game was cP. Hilliselebrated for their individual accolades. And Peyton Hillis, the man chosen for the Madden 12 cover which was shot (see: right) during an EA Sports event in Time Square, succeeded in 2010, but he's giving it all to the fans when it comes to his selection this year.

"It's just a blessing," Hillis said. "I feel like people see what I do to my body and what I do on the field and they appreciate that and they respect that. And all I can do is hope I can give back to them, whether it's Cleveland or Arkansas or my fans back in Denver, how many ever that is.

"And it's just a blessing that I can actually be here and do this right now for them."

Hillis also understands that the city of Cleveland hasn't exactly had the best run when it comes to sports-related success recently, and that a city who got firmly behind it's newest star is reveling in the success.

"Well, it's huge," Hillis said. "They really haven't had a winner in a while, ever since they left to go to Baltimore. In my mind, this is not about myself, this is not about me, this is about what can I give back to the team and community and hopefully that's a winner."

Hillis did admit that he's not an insanely avid Madden player (he buys the game every year, but "just because I'm in the NFL and I love beating my brother at it," which, coincidentally is the same reason I buy it every year).

But, he also said he was cool with the way that Madden portrayed him ... except he thinks they made him too skinny.
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"The thing about it is the [low speed rating] doesn't really hurt me," Hillis said. "I ran a 4.5 in college -- that's adequate speed at best.

But I look at the game, I look skinny and I know I'm definitely not skinny. So I'd like to that to be changed, but other than that, I think it's pretty good."

Not the toughest life for Hillis, huh? But the dude deserves it -- he's got a superb attitude, he cares about the fans and remains humble despite the fact that the worst thing in his life right now is that the virtual reincarnation of himself is too skinny.

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Posted on: April 27, 2011 5:05 pm
Edited on: April 28, 2011 11:51 am
 

Peyton Hillis shocks world for Madden 12 cover

P. Hillis suprisingly has won the Madden 12 cover (Getty). Posted by Will Brinson

Peyton Hillis overcame lots of odds to become a star running back in the NFL. He might have overcome MORE odds to become the cover athlete of Madden 12, in a shocking result that was revealed on live television.

Michael Vick stormed his way to the finals, while Hillis and the fans of Cleveland Browns grass-rooted their way to the finals of the first-ever competition that featured fan voting.

Hillis took the league by storm in 2010, rushing for 1,177 yards and getting in the end zone a total of 13 times.

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Of course, this may not do wonders for Hillis' value in fantasy football -- or for the Browns! -- if you believe in the Madden curse. Regardless, though, it's a fantastic story for a guy who flew under the radar out of Arkansas (behind Felix Jones and Darren McFadden) and was traded out of Denver for Brady Quinn.

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Posted on: April 18, 2011 1:06 pm
 

Hillis a surprising finalist in Madden tourney

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Though this would have been unthinkable before last season (and if there wasn’t a lockout right now, I probably wouldn’t have even thought to think about it), Browns RB Peyton Hillis is in the finals of the Madden ’12 cover tournament.

And with the way his fan base is performing, he’ll have an awfully good shot of defeating Eagles QB Michael Vick to win the cover.

Hillis, a No. 10 seed, easily beat Packers QB Aaron Rodgers 61-39 to advance to the finals, and he will face Vick – a No. 3 seed who knocked off Vikings RB Adrian Peterson 59-41.

With the exception of his 51-49 second-round victory against Falcons QB Matt Ryan, Hillis has cruised through the tournament, compiling at least 60 percent of the vote against each of his opponents.

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Posted on: April 11, 2011 7:50 pm
 

Madden 12 cover voting down to 4 players

Posted by Will Brinson

The Madden 12 cover voting has moved on to another round, and now there are only four athletes remaining as possible jinx cover candidates.

Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, Peyton Hillis and Aaron Rodgers remain with two rounds of voting to be held. (You can vote on Facebook should you be so inclined.)

Vick, who defeated Patrick Willis last round, and Rodgers, who took out Danny Woodhead, are the biggest favorites to make the cover.

Hillis is the definition of a darkhorse, as before the season started, the idea of him gracing America's favorite football game seemed, well, it didn't seem like anything, because it wasn't even a possibility.

Peterson could certainly win, although it's interesting that he reportedly turned down a chance to appear on the cover previously.

If I've got to guess, based on popularity, I think that Vick ends up netting his second cover -- he was on as an Atlanta Falcon -- by squeaking past Rodgers in the final.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com