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Ex-teammate rips Hillis: 'Situation ... was toxic'

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07:57 AM ET 12.06 | In the case of Peyton Hillis and Cleveland, absence has not made the heart any fonder. Joe Thomas, the Browns' five-time Pro Bowl tackle and team captain, blasted former teammate Peyton Hillis Wednesday for crippling the 2011 offense over his contract dispute, for refusing to play sick and for creating a distraction. "I think it was better for both sides [that he left]," Thomas said of Hillis, returning Sunday as a running back with the Chiefs. "At that point, the situation with him here was toxic. He didn't want to be here and players didn't want him here and it's better just for a fresh start at that point." The Hillis saga of 2011 began when he left on the day of a home game against Miami in Week 3 with strep throat and the flu.

The Plain Dealer

Peyton Hillis (in Cleveland), Getty Images Peyton Hillis (in Cleveland), Getty Images
December 6, 2012  08:10 AM ET

So... Apparently at one point, he thought he was good, too.

December 6, 2012  08:14 AM ET

Can you blame any player for not wanting to be in Cleveland? Particularly last year?

Right now, I wouldn't blame him for not wanting to be in Kansas City, either. Particularly this year.

December 6, 2012  08:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

So... Apparently at one point, he thought he was good, too.

My bad... I had him confused with "White Lightening"... what's his name over in KC.

Hillis still sucks though.

December 6, 2012  08:16 AM ET

Deja Vu? Seems I've seen this somewhere before...

December 6, 2012  08:38 AM ET

Another aspect of the Madden cover jinx: over inflated ego and a sense of entitlement.

December 6, 2012  09:15 AM ET

If all it took to make a team bad is a player bitc#ing about his contract, then there would be 32 baaad teams.

December 6, 2012  09:21 AM ET

TOXIC? ......... Afterall it is Cleveland,heck years ago the river caught on fire,I guess that wasn't toxic.

December 6, 2012  09:28 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

TOXIC? ......... Afterall it is Cleveland,heck years ago the river caught on fire,I guess that wasn't toxic.

That was my first thought, as well. Isn't everything toxic in Cleveland?

December 6, 2012  09:33 AM ET

Why on the earth this one-hit wonder ended up on the cover of Madden we'll never know.

Comment #10 has been removed
December 6, 2012  09:41 AM ET

The Browns aren't so bad. They are undefeated (just barely) when the other team has 8 turnovers and plays with their 3rd string QB.

December 6, 2012  09:50 AM ET

This guy is fading into obscurity, fast. Maybe the Navy Seals thing will work for him.

December 6, 2012  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

The Browns aren't so bad. They are undefeated (just barely) when the other team has 8 turnovers and plays with their 3rd string QB.

We can build on that!

December 6, 2012  10:06 AM ET

Thomas makes it sound like Hillis had a cold and didn't want to play. Strep throat is pretty bad. I've had it several times and it is no fun believe me. Plus all the antibiotics they have to put you on to kill it makes you pretty dopey and sleepy.

December 6, 2012  10:10 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

TOXIC? ......... Afterall it is Cleveland,heck years ago the river caught on fire,I guess that wasn't toxic.

LOL. It was less toxic after all the toxic chemicals were burned off. I was in Europe when it happened and picked up the English Language newspaper. On the front page was a picture of firemen aiming their hoses at a river. Reading on, I found that it was my hometown. How my heart swelled with pride!

December 6, 2012  10:12 AM ET

I don't know what happened with Hillis and management and all, but he did not handle whatever the situation was well. Cleveland fans are the only reason he made it on the cover of Madden... unfortunately I think it fed his ego a little too much. Oh well, thanks to him we have TRich now, I'll deal.

Comment #17 has been removed
Comment #18 has been removed
December 6, 2012  10:21 AM ET
QUOTE(#18):

Thomas is right. Hillis had ONE good year in Cleveland and wanted to be paid like an elite RB and quit on the Browns. Hillis is a bumb.

It does appear that season went to his head in a major way, doesn't it?

 
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