There is (For some reason) a lot of excitement about a workout here in Tampa. I know people are nostalgic and I know that Mike will always be loved here for his heart, grit and what he has done after his career to help the area and the families who live here through his foundation. All of that said, Mike was in a tough spot. He was a tailback in a fullback’s body who was never really used fully; either because he couldn’t be or nobody could figure out how to accomplish it. Early on, as a closer, Mike was amazing. A fatigued defense would be pounded into submission by his highlight reel runs. He had deceptively good hands and quick feet for anyone, let alone a man of his size, but his inability to develop as a blocker and the changing offensive system here in Tampa spelled the end of a storied career.
Fast forward to Peyton Hillis. The similarities are easy to spot and sadly, most don’t go past the race and number he wears. There is certainly a style similarity but what Alstott always had was heart. Nobody EVER doubted Mike’s “want to” whereas Hillis has had questions around him as long as he has been in the league. Now whether it was an issue with McDaniels in Denver or the problem of only one ball in Cleveland, Peyton ended up in KC who certainly could have used a lift and he saw no sunshine.
I am an emotional fan. “ALSTOTT UP THE GUT!” still rings in my ears like it does yours. Was Alstott that good or was the combination of player and opportunity just special? Does this offense afford a chance for a player of similar skillset to thrive?
Take a look and let me know what you think. I was surprised by the numbers.