Greg Cosell: Browns must “shorten” the game with Trent Richardson

If Greg Cosell is right then the Browns will get the highest rated player in the draft overall at #4 this week. Interestingly enough, he echos a lot of what I was trying to say about Peter King’s stat of the week trumpeting the need for a passing game. Now Greg Cosell’s mock draft seems to back me up even more.

Cleveland: The Browns select my highest rated player, RB Trent Richardson. Richardson is a special runner, the best to enter the NFL since Adrian Peterson. Cleveland will not compete in the AFC North trying to outscore Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cincinnati. They will not sustain offense throwing the ball. They must shorten the game, limit the number of snaps their defense is on the field, and try to win 17-14. You need a foundation back to do that.

This is the crux of one of my big arguments over the last few months that we as fans need to stop constantly attempting to measure ourselves based on how everyone else seems to do it. You can follow certain parts of team culture like continuity, building through the draft and things like that, but not the finite details of constructing a team. Every successful team puts an original spin on their success. The Pats and Packers have just as many differences as they do similarities other than winning over the last few seasons.

The Browns need to find some of their own unique attributes that set them apart (positively) among other NFL teams.

[Related: Is Jason Pinkston the Browns true plan at right tackle?]

  • Humboldt

    It’s also the case that all paradigms shift and evolve. The NFL is constantly enamored with taking micro-trends in the league and extrapolating to some absolute principal.

    Take Richardson and build a good team around him. Not rocket surgery.  

  • Natedawg86

    I agree Craig, but how do you shorten the game with a WCO?  Dink and Dunk, complete a bunch of screens and short passes?  It seems to me that the team is focusing more towards scoring points than eating the clock.  The defense is really close to consistently holding the opponent to a low scoring output, but we have to put up at least high teens low twenties on offense to have a shot.

  • Harv 21

    think you meant it’s not brain science.

  • Abe
  • TheRobot57

    The AFC North defenses are designed to stuff the run. How are we supposed to sustain drives by focusing on the run against the best run-defenses?

  • Harv 21

    I am belatedly coming around to Richardson if they feel sure 1) he’s clearly the best player available at #4, and would be the offense ignitor that LBs and SS must account for, and 2) we can get similar quality WR to Blackmon in late first round or second.

    But then I think we can flip that and get an excellent RB later also. Heckert makes it sound like they are so sure how they rank these guys. Sorry, their stomachs must be churning.

    Supposedly the Dolphins owner wants Tannehill, to make a splash after losing tens of thousands of season tix holders. But don’t want the Browns to drop that far.

    Is it Thursday yet?

  • Jack

    whether to be a pass first or run first team isn’t exactly a finite detail…

  • Humboldt

     It’s a play on words, also known as a joke…

  • Mike E

     I think he got it, in his case if he were not kidding he would have said brain surgery………its science.

  • Humboldt

     oh geez, sorry, multi-tasking near 5pm and not processing so well, haha

  • Mike E

     glad i could be of assistance. rawk!

  • mgbode

    wait, what? isn’t throwing short end up causing longer drives, and thus, eating clock? 

    also, Shurmur seemed more than willing to run the ball when he had SJAX, so give him Richardson and I think we’ll run more.

  • mgbode

    take the best players available and adjust the pass:run ratio accordingly.

  • Humboldt

    my bad Harv – speaking of the brain, low action potential quotient on this end after a long day

  • Dr. Sheldon Cooper

    I would go with that you indeed got it because since a pun is actually a play on words, calling it a “joke” implies that you were continuing the trend of misdirection by using the wrong word intentionally. 

  • Humboldt

    Interesting interpretation!  However, a pun can also be used as a punchline to a joke (i.e. What did the tomato say to his friend who was lagging behind / Ketchup, etc) so I’m not sure the two are mutually exclusive

  • Harv 21

    no worries! Last week multitasking + work aggravation + too easy internet access induced my sticking my neck out on a limb to attack Craig. Who I almost always agree with. For no reason. Which induced others to roll up the virtual newspaper and smack me on the snout. Which is how you run a civil site. On this anniversary, Rodney King would approve.

  • MrCleaveland

    What number do you think the Browns will give Richardson?

    Anybody using 30? Or 33?

  • erchoov

    With two unproven/below average guards and a rookie right tackle, that’s how.  I almost forgot about our beast of a fullback.  Richardson will be dead or have arthritis before the years out.  I think the guy has a ton of potential but we have to do something to give him a legit shot to succeed.

  • porckchopexpress

    Eh, we can’t all be Alfred Einsteins.

  • porckchopexpress

    I think I said this before, then again, what havent any of us said by this point.  I think Richardson’s real value, and why I don’t like the AP comparision, is as a blocking pass catching 3 down threat.  I think Evan Moore is a great receiving tight end but a terrible blocker, which combined with a weak RT (still think the biggest failure of this offseason was not signing a legit RT in fa) makes it hard to use him, without telegraphing what you are doing.  So taking a RB who is both a good chip blocker and capabale of releasing and catching passes in the flat and actually making real gains, can slow a rushing end/olb because they have to think after he releases the block he (Richardson) is going to be open in space with only a safety/cb who Richardson outweighs by 20/30 lbs and might be faster than.  Just saying you can’t evaluate these things in a typical RBs aren’t high value so don’t take one manner

  • Steve

     Pittsburgh and Baltimore have good defenses, so we’re not likely to score. I guess we might as well not even try then.

  • Mark

    I like your thoughts on this. I agree and have come around on Richardson. He is so good in all aspects, a real 3 down back. I’ll be pretty pleased if we draft him.

  • Harv 21

    if that’s the essence of what he’ll be for us – a third down weapon who keeps the offense on the field, rather than an every down scoring threat like AP or chain-moving monster like Bettis – I don’t want him at #4.  You can get that third down mismatch guy later. At #4, I want the offensive player the defense must account for each play. If there’s really no such thing after the 2 QBs, take Clairborne and at least make part of the team dominant. 

  • Dinner

    “You can follow certain parts of team culture like continuity, building through the draft and things like that, but not the finite details of constructing a team. Every successful team puts an original spin on their success.”

    Try telling that to the Cavs fans who insists on using the Oklahoma City Thunder’s rebuilding model. Lol!!

  • porckchopexpress

    I think I worded that poorly.  I think his value is that he is a three down back, one who can run, catch, or block on any given play, and more importantly his skill set allows Evan Moore to be on the field without having to tip our hand that it is an obvious passing down because of his ability (projected of course) to manufacture yards without premium blocking.  I think his best comparision seems to be Stephen Jackson, big and physical but with enough ability to catch and run that you need to know where he is at all times, which I think is the biggest thing he brings to the table, because we haven’t had a guy that gives teams worries all week since Braylon’s one year.
    That being said, there is a huge part of me that would also love Claiborne, make the defense really good.  However I really feel if that is the route they needed to get a RT in free agency, so that 22 and 37 could be used on offensive skill positions.

  • Jim Brown

        When Mike Holmgren claims that Colt McCoy is his guy, I believe
    him as much as people believed John Elway when he stated, matter of
    factly, that Tim Tebow was his guy and he was going to stick with
    him…lol.   Colt McCoy is what the Cleveland Browns are stuck with,
    until the Browns management is able to get an NFL caliber quarterback
    for their team.  What do you get when you put the best NFL line and the
    best receiving corps together with Colt McCoy, that’s easy…a losing
    NFL football team.  It’s not rocket science, and no matter what spin
    Mike Holmgren puts on it, when he tells himself the truth, he knows
    that currently the Cleveland Browns don’t have a single NFL caliber
    quarterback on their team and he knows it.      To give you a
    perspective here, Tim Tebow is a 5 times better NFL caliber quarterback
    than any quarterback currently on the Cleveland Browns roster!!!! 
    That fact is pretty sad when you sit down and think about it, and it
    clearly shows how bad the Cleveland management has done the past
    several years!

  • Harv 21

    If that is Richardson I’d be ok with it, an every down defensive match-up problem that also solves a multiplicity of issues (e.g., Evan can’t block).

    I defer to those who watched him more, but I don’t see Richardson as the match-up nightmare. I think he’ll be a strong but not great pro, a slightly stronger and more stable Hillis, and we can get that later. If we grab him I pray he proves me wrong.

  • Johnmatye

    Timmy Tebow 5 times better is a little rich…but I agree with most of what you are spinning.  You can’t reach for a QB at 4 just because you need one.  We are not a playoff team next year, let’s get some pieces and nab a QB next year who will hopefully have T-Rich, Little and Floyd (trade up) to play with!