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Ronnie Hillman is not a special back. He never was. It’s why he was overlooked by bigger schools looking for the prototype, 5-foot-10 workhorse. He did the same thing for San Diego State that he did throughout his youth - dominate. He doesn’t leave yards on the field as he’s decisive, quick and stays low. Shifty in tight spaces, tough, and decisive to the hole - just what you want to see out of small running backs. His change of direction ability would make one think it’s LeSean McCoy in a different uniform. He’s got big play ability, but unlike most diminutive backs, he’s not a lightning rod. However, he’s an asset between the tackles.
Then he pulled up lame before preseason Week 1, and any momentum towards a meaningful role early in the season went up in flames at that point. He missed most of August and didn’t return to full capacity until close to the opener. It was safe to assume he would be an afterthought until the second half of the season at that point. But then he was a surprise active for Week 3, as Knowshon Moreno was a healthy scratch. He’s slowly been worked more-and-more into the game plan throughout the last month.
I’m not Nostradamus, no one knows if McGahee’s on his last hurrah or about to step off the cliff, but at the price it costs to speculate on Hillman, it’ll be much cheaper to find out now that it would be to wait for something to happen to McGahee. He’s already been hurt this year, but didn’t miss a week, and he’s never been shy when it comes to the injury report in the past, so shoring up Plan B on an explosive offense would be a smart move.
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