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Browns plan to make Richardson the workhorse

Trent Richardson

Cleveland Browns first round pick Trent Richardson answers questions during a news conference at the NFL football team’s headquarters in Berea, Ohio Friday, April 27, 2012. The Alabama running back was taken with the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)


The decision to use the third overall pick on a running back at a time when many teams are using three running backs likely means that the team that used the third overall pick on a running back plans to focus the running game on that guy.

Browns G.M. Tom Heckert told PFT Live on Wednesday that, indeed, the Browns plan to make Trent Richardson the workhorse.

“I think it’s pretty safe to say we draft a guy third overall, he’s going to be the guy,” Heckert said. “But we do think we’re going to need extra backs. You know, last year going into the season we thought we’re in really good shape at running back with Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jackson, and Montario Hardesty and it turns out all three of them got nicked up. So, you know, we do think it’s a position where you better have a couple guys and, you know, we have obviously Brandon Jackson and Hardesty coming back both, so we think it’s going to be, from last year where it was probably a weak spot for us, we think it’s going to be a very, very big positive for us this year.”

Still, Heckert realizes that Richardson could be the next running back to get “nicked up.”

“I do think that’s probably one of the reason they don’t go up that high, but we thought he was such a special player, we thought it outweighed any, you know, hesitations about whether the running backs, how long they last, and all that stuff,” Heckert said. “You know, he scores a lot of touchdowns, we think he’s going to score a lot of touchdowns for us.”

If he stays healthy, he likely will. But he will be playing the one position that is the equivalent of being a large magnet in an anvil factory. And he may indeed get injured, which would make the Browns look bad for using the third overall pick.

But the Browns know it, they accept it, and they understand that, if he stays healthy, he could help the team become relevant again.