The city of Kansas City has things to look forward to after hosting Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game last month. In addition to several star players returning from injury, newly signed free agent running back Peyton Hillis has looked extraordinary in camp so far.
Hillis had a breakout season in 2010 rushing for 1,177 yards and 13 touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns. For a few weeks, he sparked a town that has not had much to cheer for on the football field since 2007.
But as quickly as Hillis broke out, his career came crashing down in 2011 as he ran for just 587 yards and three touchdowns. His yards per carry dropped from 4.4 yards in 2010 to just 3.6 yards last year. The Browns decided to take a risk and let Hillis hit the open market.
Reportedly, Cleveland was expected to make an offer to Hillis if his price came down in free agency, but that never happened. Kansas City swept in and signed him to a one-year, $3M contract.
Although it seemed minuet at the time, it could turn into an excellent signing for the Chiefs. Hillis apparently did not show up in tip-top shape last season since he was dealing with a hamstring injury according to RotoWorld
. The injury also seemed to linger into the season, and it affected his performance. Hillis did, however, rush for over 100 yards against the Cardinals and Ravens late last year.
Kansas City hopes Hillis can have more games like that or at least be an effective change-up to star running back Jamaal Charles. The two could be a lethal combination
since Charles depends on his speed and quickness and Hillis tried to run people over with his power.
Add in that quarterback Matt Cassel missed a good portion of last year and star safety Eric Berry was knocked out Week 1, Kansas City has a plethora of great players returning from injury. If they all can return to 2010 form, it is very likely the Chiefs can make a very strong playoff run in a weak AFC West.