Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - The truth has finally come out concerning former Browns and current Chiefs running back Peyton Hillis.
Cornerback Joe Haden was diplomatic when asked about Hillis last year saying that, “he was a good teammate” and the situations were, “blown out of proportion.”
Left tackle Joe Thomas wasn’t as kind. Thomas called Hillis out for being selfish and unwilling to play which helped derail the 2011 season.
“There was a few times during the season I think the contract got in the way of him doing the things that he needed to do to help the offense win,” Thomas said.
Coach Pat Shurmur declined to talk about Hillis’ tumultuous 2011 season with the Browns.
“I’m going to talk about Peyton Hillis the 2012 version,” Shurmur said. “I’d be happy to answer any questions there. No, I won’t put it into words.”
Thomas praised running back Trent Richardson for his willingness to play and produce while less than 100 percent this season – contrary to Hillis.
“[Hillis] handled himself incorrectly,” Thomas said. “You can’t say enough about the things that Trent does for this team and how humble he is coming off an incredibly successful career at Alabama and being the No. 3 pick. He’s just a great person and a great teammate. I think everyone really appreciates [him playing hurt].
“I don’t know what the injury is but he got nicked up earlier in the season but he still goes out there and runs people on Sunday’s and you appreciate that.”
Hillis spent 2 seasons with the Browns before signing with Kansas City following a turbulent 2011 campaign.
Road tested Review: The Browns’ TV series on the Travel Channel debuted Tuesday night and received positive reviews inside and outside of the locker room.
Kicker Phil Dawson was the star of the show.
“It’s just getting started,” Dawson joked. “There will probably be more coming. It’s been a good time and I think the guys around here are enjoying letting me have it. Guys are joking and having a good time with it.”
Dawson, who can be like a mad scientist when it comes to kicking field goals, clarified one thing mentioned in Tuesday’s episode – the kickers’ footballs aren’t ‘worked in’ until game day and it is done under the supervision of the officials.
The fact that they limit that for kickers is interesting,” Dawson said. “When you take the ball out of the box from the factory it has a brush with it and is meant to be rubbed down.”
A fun tidbit revealed during the show was that Mike Thatcher, who is a member of the equipment staff, was an extra in The Shawshank Redemption.
“I learned a lot about him [by watching the show],” defensive end Frostee Rucker said. “I’m new here. That’s the unique thing of being around is that everyone has a story and I haven’t had the chance to sit down and talk to him yet.
“It’s cool. I haven’t had a cameo in a movie yet.”
Rucker is glad to see the team portrayed in a positive, realistic light. He hopes fans will learn a few things as well.
“I think it’s a great chance for fans to really get to know in a short amount of minutes what goes on during the week,” Rucker said. “It gives really good insight and I’m glad we get to do it.”
Shurmur was able to preview the show and ensure that nothing related to a competitive advantage would be shown. He’s glad that the show was able to shine the spotlight on those who work behind the scenes as much as the players, coaches and front office.
“I thought it was very well done,” Shurmur said. “I think what that show shows you is there’s a lot of very talented, hard working people behind the scenes that help make this thing go. I hope that’s what folks take away from the episodes that they watch. The cameras have been around. I’ve mentioned it before, my biggest concern when there’s cameras around is, number one, it doesn’t become a distraction to the process, which of course, I saw they were very professional and that wasn’t the case. And of course, any kind of a leaking of competitive advantage which I don’t think is the case.
“For the most part, I thought it revealed a lot of hard working people behind the scenes that do a lot of work. I think that’s a good thing.”
Back To Full Strength: Safety Usama Young returned to practice Wednesday after being cleared by doctors after sustaining a concussion during a collision with Heath Miller Nov. 25 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I took the brunt of the hit and was out,” Young said. “I had concussion like symptoms. They took me out, I went in, did all the tests and now I’ve passed all off the tests. I’m feeling good and looking forward to Sunday.”
With the return of Young, all 53 members of the active roster were on the field and Young expects to play this week against Kansas City.
“It was real scary,” Young said. “You want to be smart in this game. It’s a real physical game. Anything can happen at any time from the knee, the head, neck, whatever you’ve got to be smart.”
Cleared to Work: Left guard Jason Pinkston has been cleared to resume football training. Pinkston tweeted the news Wednesday.
“Finally cleared to lift & condition full time!! Appreciate the thoughts and prayers!!!,” Pinkston tweeted.
He was placed on injured reserve earlier this year after being hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs.
Injury Report: Limited – WR Josh Cribbs (shoulder/chest), S Ray Ventrone (calf) and S Usama Young (concussion).
Full Participation – TE Jordan Cameron (groin), CB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), RB Trent Richardson (chest/rib/finger) and DE Frostee Rucker (shoulder/finger).