BEREA, Ohio — Peyton Hillis has went from an obscure player on the Denver Broncos bench to one of the more prominent running backs in the NFL this season. He was recognized by the NFL for his big performance against the Patriots last Sunday by being named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
Hillis rushed for 184 yards, including two touchdowns against New England. He also caught three passes for 36 yards for a total of 220 yards from scrimmage. Hillis is the first Browns to win the award since Derek Anderson received the award in the second week of the 2007 season.
Hillis has been featured on national television and radio shows, but he tries to remain on an even keel.
"It's a great feeling," Hillis said. "It's always better to be on top than on the bottom. I've been in both places, but it's a lot more fun to be on top.
"But, I have to stay grounded and remember where I come from and I have to keep that mentality. I always figure the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Any time you can get hurt and be back on the bottom. I try to stay grounded."
Hillis knows in the NFL, there isn't much time to relish in your accomplishments.
"The feeling is pretty much of enjoyment," he said. "I'm excited I could accomplish something that great, but I have a great offensive line and fullback helping me, but you can't dwell on that achievement very long because we have another big challenge this week."
Rex Ryan was asked what he thought about Hillis in his chat with the Cleveland media.
"Is (Eric) Mangini trying to get me for tampering?" Ryan said. "The obvious comparison is to Mike Alstott. He runs straight at you.
"Let face it, he ran for 184 yards last week. He did 140 yards against Baltimore. It's going to be a great matchup we're No. 1 stopping the run and it will be a battle."
"There's no doubt they present a big challenge for us," Hillis said. "It's huge matchup. We know it all starts up front with the o-line and the d-line. I have a lot of faith to the guys on our team.
"We just need to do our game and play smash mouth football."
Hillis said he doesn't feel his body is wearing down because he has such a physical style of running the ball.
"I'm blessed that I don't have to come out of the game that much," he said. "I'm not tired. The more and more the game goes on the better I feel."
At Sunday's game the Browns will hand out Peyton Hillis posters.
"It's a great feeling," he said. "I've truly been blessed."
Hillis on McCoy: Hillis said he has all the confidence if rookie Colt McCoy continues to be the starter.
"There's no doubt in my mind," Hillis said. "Colt McCoy has been a winner his whole life. He brings a determined mentality to our team . He is really confident and has a swagger about him ."
Legends: Cody Risien and John Wooten will be inducted into the Cleveland Browns Legends this Sunday. They will be honored at halftime and will be the Honorary Coin Toss Captains. Risien played with the Browns from 1979-83, 85-89 and Wooten played from 1959-67.
"Seneca should get limited reps (Wednesday)," Mangini said.
Rex not Fooled on QB: Rex Ryan doesn't sound fooled about who will be the Browns quarterback Sunday.
"I don't know if (McCoy's) going to be playing quarterback," Rex Ryan said. "It might be Frank Ryan. He led the Browns to their last championship. Whether it's Colt McCoy or Frank Ryan, they'll do a good job."
Ryan said he has been impressed with McCoy.
"Look at the teams he's played against," he said. "He's not making mistakes. He's a smart competitive kid."
On the quarterback situation, Mangini said little.
"This is really Seneca's first day back, so Colt will get the majority of the reps," Mangini said. "At this point it's seeing what Seneca can do. He'll take part in about a quarter of the practice."
Mangini still said there has been no discussion on the starters.
"The important thing is to gather information and get all of our guys healthy and see where we're at. I don't think we need to rush into any decision. I feel comfortable with all three of those guys. I think it's important to see how we keep going."<