Posts Tagged ‘running back’

Browns talent deficit continues

March 12, 2012

Year after year since 1999, the Browns have been playing catch up in regards to  player talent. Playing in the AFC North, it’s never going to be easy with the Steelers, Ravens and even the Bengals having a system in place and good drafting over the last few years.  The Browns have no elite skill position players on offense.

The Redskins traded this week for the draft rights to Robert Griffin III. The dynamic signal caller from Baylor has speed, intelligence and a strong arm. He would have been a huge shot in the arm in Cleveland. But, the Redskins gave up 3 number one picks.  It is hard to say the Browns could have topped this bid or should have.

Andrew Luck will be taken first by Indianapolis. Griffin to Washington will follow.  Minnesota is next and then the Browns. I really have no idea what player is in their sights. If it was my choice, I would trade down a few spots and pick Trent Richardson, the running back from Alabama.  With Peyton Hillis likely leaving, the Browns could use a solid back and he looks to be a potential star. Plus the extra pick acquired in trading down could be used to add extra talent later.

This is going to be an important off season. Cleveland is looking to establish an identity and build a core of offensive talent. If no progress is made, more seasons like the last ten will follow.

Hillis and Browns at the crossroads

January 3, 2012

 

Peyton Hillis is no Jim Brown, no Kevin Mack or Earnest Byner; Leroy Kelly either for that matter. But on this current edition of the Browns he is undoubtedly their most productive offensive player.  I’m not sure what his worth is on the open market. But with a team lacking in skill at so many positions, why would they consider letting him go and drafting a running back?

Hillis has had a weird year. He was the cover boy for the Madden video game series and then haggled with the Berea Bunch about a new contract. As that wound festered he came down with strep throat and missed a game. He later told the media he could probably have played but his agent suggested he not. Then he pulled a hamstring and missed several games while the Browns struggled to fill in for him.

Finally at the end of the year Hillis had a couple of decent games. The Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Browns beat writer Tony Grossi has repeatedly opined that Hillis will be let go and not resigned. This is a mistake. Hillis can help the Browns going forward. He’s not irreplaceable but again, there are to many holes in the lineup to give good players away. Mike Holmgren and Tom Heckert should think long and hard before giving Hillis away.