If anything good comes out of this whole "media-hyped Peyton Hillis contract situation," hopefully it's that it will light an ever greater fire under the bruising back and make head coach Pat Shurmur give Hillis carries in a manner similar to what we saw against the Indianapolis Colts back in Week 2.
In his Thursday morning press conference, a reporter stated that it seems Oakland is more vulnerable against the wide run. He then asked whether that would lend more to Montario Hardesty, and if Shurmur was comfortable running Hillis wide. Shurmur acknowledged that the Raiders have a strong duo of defensive tackles (Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly), but that Hillis would be "the guy" against Oakland.
"I think the natural reaction is because the two defensive tackles are playing so well is you run away from them," said Shurmur. "I think that’s what is making people assume. I think you have to attack them everywhere in this front and Peyton Hillis is going to get the bulk of the carries, I can just tell you that."
That defensive tackle duo will be tough to go up against, especially if center Alex Mack isn't able to play. Over at the OBR, they have some quotes from Raiders head coach Hue Jackson regarding thinks of Hillis:
"I know this guy is a sensational runner," Jackson said. "He’s one of the better big backs in this league. One hit doesn’t bring this guy down. You have to gang tackle him. One guy can’t bring him down."
Hillis will be on the opposite sideline of Raiders running back Darren McFadden on Sunday. During his college days, Hillis and McFadden were in the same backfield at Arkansas.