After four games, most of us are left scratching our heads with every heart breaking loss. Whether at the game or watching on their flat screens at home, Cleveland Browns fans view each game passionately and analyze every one of Pat Shurmur‘s questionable play calls (Why do we even have Brad Childress?). This brings us to one simple question: Why are the Browns not using Trent Richardson on third downs?
Three out of four games played, the Browns have played from behind. In all four games, Richardson has touched the ball just 16 times in the second half. This means in the second half of every game, Richardson has an average of four measly touches. By the way, these are both rushing and receiving touches. In the last two games, on 3rd & 4 or longer, Richardson is not even on the field. Why? Instead, Shurmur has elected to put back up running back Chris Ogbonnaya on third downs. Once again, why? Taking nothing away from Ogbonnaya, Richardson poses a better dual purpose threat by being on the field during essential third downs. It is an absolute travesty that Richardson is not being used in crucial situations.
TRich has proved to us already that he is at his best when running in the open field. Yet, the mastermind Shurmur and his staff run half back dives, isos, and sprints all up the congested middle over and over again. We all remember, “Metcalf up the middle” don’t we? It’s play calling like this that gets coaches fired.
The Browns made a gutsy move that was well approved by the fans to get Richardson. With the whole Peyton Hillis fiasco a year ago, it was imperative that they get an AFC North type running back that would strike fear in to the eyes of guys like Ray Lewis and Troy Polamalu. In this past April’s NFL Draft, Cleveland traded up from the fourth to the third spot to guarantee Richardson would be a Brown. It would become clear as day, the Browns had a key piece to the rebuilt offense in Richardson. So once again, why are we not using him when it matters the most?
It has been a long time since an opponent has had to game plan for one of our players. Having Richardson on the sidelines when a play needs to be made does no good whatsoever. If you’ve watched Richardson run the ball with his tree trunk legs, it isn’t hard to see that the man moves people. With full a head of steam, it takes three or four defenders to bring him down as he is always fighting for that extra yard. With muscular arms the size of an overgrown adult python, opponents have been trying to strip the ball free and have failed miserably on multiple occasions. Why is he on the sidelines again?
If this type of mentality continues, Richardson is going to get sick and tired of it real quick. You drafted him, put him on the field and let him make plays.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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