The Cleveland Browns have struggled this season as they are 5-10 with one game left to play. In the nine games that RB Trent Richardson has had at least 20 touches, the Browns are 4-5 and two of those losses were by three points or less with one of them coming in overtime against the Dallas Cowboys.
In their last game, the Browns weren’t able to get much offense going against the Denver Broncos‘ tough defense, completing only 21 of their 39 passes for 183 yards. They rushed 18 times for 91 yards, but their leading rusher, Richardson, only had nine carries for 53 yards (he also added three receptions for 15 yards). Richardson seemed to be the only thing working for the Browns, but the Browns didn’t turn to Richardson much and eventually fell in a blowout loss.
If Richardson would have carried the ball at least 20 times, the game could have been much closer and it stuns me that the Browns didn’t use Richardson more after his early success. It should be a goal for the Browns to give him 20-plus carries every week.
I understand that he is young and teams try hard to extend their superstars’ careers by running them less and by bringing in other backs to lessen the load, but the Browns don’t have another back worth running yet so they have to use what they’ve got.
If I was coaching the Browns I would make it a must to get Richardson 25 touches every game and if those touches were very successful then I would go for 30-plus touches in that particular game. When you can run the ball that much you can keep games close even if you’re not running it extremely well. Richardson has had games in which he didn’t have great stats, but keeping it on the ground runs the clock and makes it hard for opposing teams to put up a lot of points. If the Browns want to improve at all in 2013 with their young roster, the offensive game plans needs to revolve around Richardson.
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