By LG

We could look back on Trent Richardson’s rookie season in the NFL and say, he had a pretty good year. But imagine what kind of year he could have had if he stayed healthy. Richardson suffered a lot of injuries in the NFL. He found out quickly that he wasn’t in Alabama anymore. This is the NFL and yes, one guy can tackle the guy who could avoid that in College.

The Browns have to find a way to make sure they can keep T-Rich healthy. A fullback than can lead the way for the so-called beast would be a great move in this off-season. The Cleveland Browns have to find a guy that can bust open hole that will allow Richardson to miss getting hit by the first guy. We all saw last season what he can do once he finds daylight in a defense. The guy is almost impossible to bring down once he is in the open field.

Richardson isn’t going to have a long career in the NFL if the Browns don’t fill the need of having a good lead blocker. The guy has already had 3 knee surgeries and the ligaments that attach to his ankles are held in place by screws in both of his legs. Even though Richardson had a decent rookie season, he still wasn’t among the NFL elite in rushing. There is a lot of room for improvement and a good fullback for the Cleveland Browns.

As a matter of fact, the Browns have a few hole that need to be filled at other positions besides the quarterback. If Norv Turner expects the Cleveland offense to be successful in 2013 he has to start with a good running game. Getting a fullback would allow him the have a great running game. We all know a great running game can lead to a good passing game. Lets all hope that Turner and Chud see it that way too.

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Readers Comments (13)

  1. ABrown

    We’ve seen a lot of half measures in Cleveland’s perpetual re-building — like trying to get an instant running game by just drafting a running back.

    Besides the RB, we need an effective fullback and a guard talented and athletic enough to both block in the line and pull to lead block.

    So far we’ve bought the flashy race car body but haven’t gotten the engine or the tires to make it go.

    For 2 years we’ve limped along with Marecic and the TE Alex Smith imitating FB play while we kept Richardson’s lead blocker from college on the practice squad.

    We’ve also limped a lot in the offensive line, without the athleticism to really drive a running game — for the same 2 years.

    Just like Weeden can’t see the whole field and locks onto one guy, the people who drafted him could just see a running back slot and not the whole offense that has to work together for an effective running game.

     
  2. tigersbrowns2

    hi LG … are they going to put smelley at TE this year ?? if so , then yes , a stud fullback would be nice & can be acquired late in the draft or fairly cheaply during free-agency.

    richardson’s hit on S kurt coleman ended-up being the hit-of-the-year.
    i would also expect trent & ogbannaya to catch alot more passes this season.

     
    • LG

      I’d be surprised if we see ogbannaya here this season. He was one of SHurmurs guys.

       
  3. RICK

    I agree that we need another fullback but a good fullback isn’t always needed for a running game. Sometimes like in Barry Sanders situation a fullback plugs up the hole (especially when the fullback is not that good) so the runner has none. It depends on the type of runner that you have. It puzzles me too that they kept Smelley on the practice squad but look at the head coach that we had.

     
  4. RB

    So LG, I agree with what you’re saying, but I still think we have more holes on defense to fill. It will be interesting to see which coordinator will have the most pull to fill holes on their side of the ball.

     
    • LG

      I really think we need some defensive help too…

       
    • Leon II

      We need holes filled on both sides of the ball for sure. I think we can make some guesses as to how the team will be built by looking at 1) what has been said by the owner, front office, and coaching staff, 2) what we know, and 3) some logical premises. If we start with what has been stated we have the following:
      1) The 1st goal is a relevant team that can have a winning season now, three years tops;
      2) The 2nd goal is to build a stable team that becomes a perennial playoff contender within two to five years;
      3) The 3rd goal is to make it to (preferably win) the Super Bowl in the next decade(H3 has never said that straight out but has implied it);
      4) They way to achieve those goals is to start with a stable front office and coaching staff;
      5) The second step in achieving those goals is to be a more aggressive, versatile team in all three aspects of the game (no more play calling not to lose);
      6) The next step is by building the team to do this primarily through the draft;
      7) Free agency will be used sparingly, primarily to acquire value players, and flashy, big money acquisitions will only occur if they are likely to fill not only immediate but long-term needs; and
      8) Our franchise QB is likely not on the team right now (again this one hasn’t been stated outright yet but hiring Lombardi has and stating a QB competition has implied it).

      Now as to what we know:
      1) Assuming those under contract work out Chud and Norv need long term upgrades at FB, OG, TE and maybe a veteran WR;
      2)Assuming we don’t have our franchise QB they will also want a QB in the next three years;
      2) Again assuming, Horton needs a FS, and at least one, maybe two, of DE, CB and OLB;
      3) Again assuming, Tabor will need a punter (maybe new acquisition Lanning) and probably a kicker;
      4) There isn’t a true immediate and long term upgrade to QB available in free agency (Alex Smith isn’t a free agent folks) and the draft prospects don’t look much better in terms of immediate impact (no Lucks or RGIIIs this year);
      5) We have a lot of cap room; but
      6) There are quite a few teams that have the same needs we have that have cap space so we can’t expect much from free agency, maybe one or two elite players at best; and
      7) The draft is deep in many of the areas where we have needs but we still have already used our second round pick (Gordon was worth it but we can’t forget it either).

      Finally as to the logical premises:
      1) Chud will be given two years to reach goal 1, five for goal 2, and possibly as long as a decade for goal 3 as long as we see consistent improvement;
      2) As long as Chud is here and improvement is occurring on the offense Norv will be here for a while (his chances of getting another Head Coach job are slim for at least five years if ever);
      3) As long as Chud is here and there is improvement on the defense Horton will be here but the Browns success could actually make his tenure shorter (he has been and will continue to be a Head Coach candidate and I don’t see him being here more then three years tops and that is a stretch if we have success on defense); and
      4) If you need to rebuild all three aspects of the game (offense, defense and special teams) it is usually most effective to get your defense in place first; because
      5) It is easier to find impact players for your defense that can keep the opponent from scoring and make an average offense look good then it is to find a franchise QB and impact players for your offense then outscore your opponent when your defense is average.

      So what happens this off season. I think the logical conclusion is that the emphasis is on building Horton’s defense. Given that we will likely have him for a limited amount of time, need to get the most out of him that we can, and that an elite defense (as proven by the AFCN) can produce a winning season and get you to the play offs the majority of our free agent acquisitions and early draft picks will focus on that aspect of the game. Chud also has likely already hired Horton’s heir apparent (I’m betting either Baker, OLB Coach, or Cioffi, DB Coach) and wants to give them the experience and the weapons they need to make the transition easier if/when it occurs. Plus getting Baker a stud pass rushing OLB and Cioffi a shutdown corner to pair with Haden becomes an audition for them. I expect to see at least one, maybe two, defensive impact players taken in free agency followed by some quality/value defensive depth players as well. I also expect the first and third pick going for defense in the draft. After that it will likely be best available with a slight preference towards defense in the draft.

      As for offense I expect maybe (and I stress maybe) one impact player (OG or WR) to be picked up during free agency and one or two quality/value offensive players. I don’t think any of these will be a FB. During the draft I don’t see a pick for the offense before the 4th round and wouldn’t be surprised if it is the fifth. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a FB taken in the sixth round but not before. Just like Heckert did I expect to see the new front office draft defense in year one and offense in year two.

      As for the elephant in the room – QB. I don’t really see us finding a franchise QB in free agency this year (unless Baltimore really does let Flacco walk) but I would expect one to be picked up anyway to compete for the starring role as the short term solution. I don’t see us trading for Alex Smith or any other QB this year as the price tag for Smith is way too high and none of the others (like Mallet) has proven themselves well enough to pay their cost. I think it is probable that either Weeden or McCoy will not be on the roster this year. McCoy has more value on the trade market then Weeden does and his final year cost goes up so if one goes I expect it to be him, probably for a conditional late round pick (5th or 6th) to a team that needs a back-up. Truth be told I would be surprised if we could find someone willing to trade for Weeden right now and it just isn’t cost effective to cut him straight out in only his second year. He would be an affordable back-up riding the pines this year but if that happens it is highly likely he won’t finish out his contract. I don’t think a QB in the draft is likely this year, but I fully expect either a potential starter or at least a developmental prospect to be acquired next year.

       
      • ABrown

        Leon II, I think we can find a good FB in the later rounds with good scouting. Washington was able to get a league leading rusher in round 6 last year. Surely we can find a FB.

         
        • Leon II

          I agree ABrown with good scouting we can get a solid FB in the later rounds or even one that went undrafted. There is no need to use free agency to get a FB this year and none of the FB’s in the draft grade above the 6th round. That could change of course but a 6th round or later grade for a FB speaks more to the low value teams now place on that position more then their actual abilities. There are quality FBs out there that could be had later.

           
  5. Matthew

    I think Turner will get more guys on offense. Horton seems like the kind of guy confident enough in his ability to coach up the young talent around him. I don’t think the same can be said for Norv. Having said that, the best running years Norv had with the Chargers was with Lorenzo Neal leading the way. He likes a big mauler at the fullback spot and I think he’ll want to make sure Trent has an effective lead blocker. I miss Vickers.

     
  6. Matt

    We should have never let go of Vickers!!!1 he’s a top 5 FB in the NFL

     
    • LG

      Matt you are right. The Browns old front office just let Vickers walk right out of Cleveland…

       
  7. SPARKY

    Pull your fullback off the practice squad and get some backups for the offensive line (rookies) If you go for the back 4 on defense, get them tall (6’2 or taller)Sign Cribbs and Dawson! There aren’t many that can fill those shoes. QB is iffy because you have undeveloped real talent. Colt would have had a better 2nd year with the improved offens, and Brandon is just starting to settle down. Perhaps a near retiring QB to mentor this young talent. Maybe rotating C&B throughout the game?
    Just develope a plan and stick to it! Look what Pete Carrol has done ina few years. Rome wasn’t built in a day!!!!!!

     

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