The Kansas City Chiefs have been more active during the free agency period this year than anytime in Scott Pioli regime thus far. So when they went out and signed running back Peyton Hillis, a former standout of new offensive coordinator Brian Daboll's offense when they were in Cleveland together, fans had a right to be optimistic about the move.
Despite any rumored tension that may or may not have existed between Hillis and the Cleveland Browns' front office in regards to a multi-year contract that he was seeking while playing there, all that can really be said is it's their loss and our gain at this point for not getting it done. One thing is going to be very obvious from the moment that Hillis walks out of that tunnel at Arrowhead Stadium and the first time and the first time he carries the ball for the Chiefs next season, the fans at Arrowhead are going to love this guy. They're going to love the way he plays and the energy he brings to the field. The atmosphere at Arrowhead Stadium, which is already described by many as being one of the best in the NFL, will feed off the energy Hillis brings on every play.
Hillis is going to make an already loud stadium even louder with the kind of physical football that created the Arrowhead mystique in the first place. The players of the past like Christian Okoye, Will Shields, Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith brought a smash-mouth, we're-going-to-throw-you-around-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it attitude. This is the attitude that fans adopted while watching this kind of football years ago in Kansas City. They'll see this brand of football resurrected with not just the Hillis signing, but with Eric Winston and Kevin Boss as well. It was all three of these signings that showed a couple of things as to what the Chiefs are going to try and do next year.
The Chiefs are going back to their bread-and-butter of 2010 and they're going to pound the rock early and often. While most of today's NFL has become pass-happy and these spread offenses have become the newest fad, there's still something about the physical nature of running the football that gets the crowd on their feet and screaming. Sure, it's cool when your quarterback is chucking it all over the field and defenses can't stop you from passing the ball. But it's a whole different kind of animal when you can see the offensive line and running backs just physically dominating the line of scrimmage. At that point you're not leaving any doubt as to who won the game, and who beat-down who.
For all of those Chiefs fans that are lucky enough to see the first few carries that Hillis has inside Arrowhead Stadium this upcoming season, try and remember to check the decibel levels the first time a poor-little defensive back tries to get low and take Hillis down. It's going to be one of those goosebump type cheers that sticks with you long after the game is over.
Hillis will be a fan favorite before they even head to halftime their first game in Arrowhead. Bank on that Chiefs fans.