A lot of fans and national pundits questioned taking a running back so high in the 2012 draft especially one with some durability concerns.
Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson had a decent rookie campaign with 267 attempts for 950 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns.
Let’s face it, since 1999 we haven’t exactly had that stud in the backfield to be able to carry the load. The best performance of any RB since 1999 was a declining Jamal Lewis in 2007 carrying the ball 298 times for 1,304 yards and 9 rushing touchdowns.
This was not the norm and in 2007, offensive coordinator Rob Chuzdinski had that offense running like a finely tuned machine producing Pro Bowl campaigns for QB Derek Anderson, WR Braylon Edwards, and TE Kellen Winslow.
With Chuzdinski running the entire show as head coach in 2013, I believe there will a repeat performance for this Browns squad. The heart of what we are going to need, especially when the weather turns, is a running back ready and willing to carry the load.
In Richardson we have that and there will be no sophomore slump for this back. He really needs to improve on his 3.6 yards per carry and take advantage of the offensive line. With Norv Turner as the offensive coordinator and a more vertical passing attack this will also open holes for Richardson to slash defenses.
The Browns don’t have to look very far to find the platform of success in the NFL.
Baltimore and Pittsburgh have prided themselves on running the ball and hard nose defense. It’s been Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker, or Rashard Mendenhall in Pittsburgh and Baltimore getting the bulk of their yards with Jamal Lewis and Ray Rice, what’s the difference between them and Cleveland?
The answer is simple really, it’s been consistency, and barring injury they have had that monster back to carry the load.
It is my belief that the Browns have finally found something special and Trent is ready to introduce himself to the NFL, let the division, and entire NFL for that matter know that the Browns have arrived!