Pat Shurmur thinks Peyton Hillis should get more touches

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In the hours before kickoff on Sunday, there was a report that some Browns players thought Peyton Hillis staged a sick-out in Week Three to protest his lack of a new contract by sitting out with strep throat.

Hillis strongly denied the claim after the Browns were thrashed by the Titans 31-13, as did coach Pat Shurmur, but all wasn’t well with the running back. He made it pretty clear after the game that he wasn’t thrilled with getting just 10 carries. He essentially split time with Montario Hardesty, who had seven carries, in the running game. Both men caught five passes as well. Hillis said that losing 10-12 pounds while battling strep hadn’t diminished his ability.

“I was fine,” he said. “I’m healthy. My body feels great. I’m just riding the tide and waiting my chances and opportunities and trying to get things done when I can.”

Hillis referred all further questions about his role in the offense to the coaches and Shurmur shared his thoughts on Monday. Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports that Shurmur said that Hillis should get more snaps and touches. He also said the team has “absolutely not” cut Hillis’ workload because of the contract situation.

Shurmur shouldn’t have much of a problem getting the ball to Hillis more often. He’s the guy running the offense and the guy who chose to put the ball in Hillis’ hands only 15 times on Sunday.

Based on the way the game played out, the Browns’ inability to keep the Titans out of the end zone appeared to be the big culprit in limiting Hillis’ touches. He carried the ball seven times before the Browns fell behind 21-6 in the first half when the pass-run ratio was 20-17. Colt McCoy threw 41 passes in the second half as the team tried to come back and that didn’t leave many carries for anyone.

29 responses to “Pat Shurmur thinks Peyton Hillis should get more touches

  1. Yes, the Browns were playing from behind, limiting carries for the running backs, but the problem was that Montario Hardesty had four dropped passes while Hillis (who had 61 receptions last year) was standing on the sidelines.

  2. Shurloss is just another fool in a long parade of failed Clowns ringmasters.

    Thank God I have Bama football to assuage my grief! The Tide plays with more passion and purpose than the Clowns ever could. Would love to see Alabama embarrass them in a scrimmage.

    @Deb: Sorry your Steelers aren’t looking so swell, but am sure you are enjoying SEC football as well!

  3. How’s that Madden Cover working out for you? Not entirely his fault. The only game Cleveland has won is when they actually fed him the ball more than dozen or so times.

  4. Jesus!! Why doesent the NFL send this franchise to LA and make Lerner sell it. From top to bottom this franchise is the worst. Lerner likes soccer better anyways. Great day to be a Steelers fan….. We dont have to put up with this nonsense.

  5. If they can’t get him involved in the running game, how about the passing game? He has some of the best hands I’ve ever seen and its not like Cleveland is crawling with all-world receiving talent.

    Or perhaps they should just sign him? And quit with the power games?

  6. PHillis need someone to touch his hair, and soothe his brow. Make things O.K. for him again.

  7. Hey, Pat, just a reminder: you are the offensive coordinator so, you know, you are the one who calls plays for Hillis.

  8. Saying that they had to pass so that limited Hillis’ touches would be a great excuse, except for the fact that he was the leading receiver on the team last year and also this year, so that excuse won’t fly. It’s about the money. It’s always about the money.

  9. Colt McCoy threw 41 passes in the second half as the team tried to come back and that didn’t leave many carries for anyone.

    …and it seems like a whole bunch of those attempts came after Shurmur burned three timeouts to get the ball back trailing by 18 with under 2 minutes left, and then had McCoy throw pass after pass. Though none seemed to travel more than 10 yards in the air.

    What the heck was that? Glorified practice of a 2-minute drill for some other hypothetical situation where they actually only needed to get into FG range once to have it matter?

  10. They didn’t cut his playing time because of the contract situation, they cut it because they have realized his is a one-year wonder. I mean come on, a white running back in the NFL? It’s not gonna work. He is a one dimensional runner on a below average team. Not to mention a baby for sitting out with a few days old strep throat….

  11. Interesting, if ignorant, comments.


    The Browns are 2-2. (you said “The only game Cleveland has won …”) So…..yeah.


    “Great day to be a Steelers fan….. “. Being a life long Browns fan, I am quite aware of the mental shortcomings of our neighbors to the east. But I feel it’s approproate to point out that the Browns have the same record as the Steelers and have actually scored more points this season than the Steelers. (save your ‘yeah buts’ for someone who cares)

    Also from steeltown56 “From top to bottom this franchise is the worst..” If it were possible, i’d type this out v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y so you could follow along, but….i am sure it’s a useless endeavor. There are 11 teams with worse records than the Browns (and therefore the Steelers).

    In closing, it’s actually a pretty crappy day to be a Steeler fan. But I am sure you’re really not bright enough to know that.

    (as an aside….billsmafia? your favorite team blew a 14 point halftime lead to the Bengals. I think that long before seasons end, you will realize that the Bills have more in common with the Browns than they do with the Patriots. Enjoy the fall from grace, don’t get too many splinters on your backside)

    I Have Spoken.

  12. Someone must have bought Shurmur a clue, because he sure didn’t have one on Sunday.

    As someone pointed out, “Shurmur, you’re the HC & the OC. Who else decides how many times to run or throw?”

    Now, someone needs to buy Heckert a clue about acquiring some legitimate WR’s. Colt is getting killed back there, looking for SOMEONE to be open. Plus, can Colt throw beyond 10 yds.???

  13. It was a bad game. The Browns’ offensive line is in a shambles with injuries coupled with mediocre talent outside of Thomas & Mack (who just had an appendectomy, and may miss some time), the linebackers are underrated, but still not dynamic, and the safeties can’t cover. They got torched by the Titans’ tight ends, and gave up more yards to Chris Johnson in one game than he’d amassed in the previous three games.

    Despite all that, I still think they’re a better team than we had last year, and my expectations for this season are the same as they were before the lockout ended: 6-10 or 7-9. One more good draft and a full offseason, and they’ll be in playoff contention.

  14. The Steelers may be having a mild downswing in success at this second in the season, but the Browns have and always will be the cellar-dwellers of the NFL.


  15. There’s a way to discuss the shortcomings of this team with intelligence and logic, and then there’s the way Steelers fans do it. But I’m not surprised.

    malignant hit the nail on the head in the first comment. Even with all the passing, there’s no reason for Hillis to be on the sidelines and Hardesty in the game, especially after the SECOND drop, let alone leaving him in to drop FOUR. And who knows, maybe having Hillis in the backfield would have kept a LB closer to the line, or a safety to spell him just in case, and it could have actually opened up a passing lane for once.

    They’ve got a lot of work to do. And it’s not all to blame on a lack of talent. The OLine wasn’t on their A game. It seemed like the Titans had a good handle on the snap count too, as I saw them anticipate it very well like half the time. Doesn’t matter how good your line is, if the defenders are getting a head start, you’re gonna struggle.

    I’m not making any excuses for Shurmur, but at least he’s not Daboll (who’s 0-4 in Miami right now by the way)

  16. Seriously robcypher? “Browns have and always will be the cellar-dwellers of the NFL”

    That has to be a comment by an uniformed individual that doesn’t know any history in the NFL.

    Browns all time record
    487-400-13 including 8 championships (not superbowls before everyone jumps all over me)
    54.9 win percentage

    Steelers all time record
    543-501-20 including 6 Superbowls
    52.01 win percentage

    Lets see if we are the cellar-dwellers then your Steelers aren behind us. Know some history before you speak.

    I am not trying to live in the past but I do know why I love the Browns. Because when I was a kid we were winning close games and in the AFC championship games! The expansion version of the Browns on the other hand are a joke. Maybe just maybe this regime will get it right.

  17. I think the injuries on the O line have a lot to do with the lack of running game. Don’t forget Marecic at fullback not making much of an impact. I really have high hopes for him.

    @bigpat78, well put man.

  18. Geez Pat. As the head coach if you think Hillis should get more touches you should demand the OC call more plays for him. Whats that? Oh wait, your the OC as well!
    I think the playbook from the original Tecmo Bowl is more creative then anything you have been calling! I know its your first year and all, heres a tip, give the people who have won you 2 games “Hillis, Moore, Cribbs,Watson” The ball more, using our third string RB and TE in game changing 4th downs is stupid, not smart.

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