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Browns plan to add a running back

EA Sports Madden NFL 12 Photo Shoot Getty Images

Help is coming for Peyton Hillis.

The former fullback isn’t likely to put up the kind of numbers that get you on the cover of Madden this year because Montario Hardesty is coming back from injury to share carries.  And just in case Hardesty can’t get healthy, the Browns want more insurance.

Terry Pluto of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer hears the Browns want to add a running back via free agency.   They won’t spend big money, but want a runner that has experience and can be a decent backup.

Signing a back makes a lot of sense, and not just because Florio listed it No. 2 on his Browns checklist.  The strongest, most stable part of the Browns team is the offensive line.

With a deep group of backs and control of the line of scrimmage, the Browns’ run game should be able to keep games close while their new passing attack and 4-3 defense figures things out.

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32 Responses to “Browns plan to add a running back”
  1. sixaspadz says: Jul 10, 2011 9:26 AM

    I totally agree that we will need help at RB to take the load off of Mr. Madden and with Hardesty slowly making his way back he may not be enough help. With that said I know this may not be the popular move but Tiki Barber is that veteran back that could come in and take 7-10 carries a game on fresh legs to give Hillis a breather.

    And since we are talking about a former Giant, why not try to snag Plax too, the Browns need a TALL WR that Colt can occasionally just “toss it up” to on some 3rd and long situations. I know he just got out of jail but who was the last NFL superstar to make a comeback out of the clink…how’d he do???

  2. clesportsgeek says: Jul 10, 2011 9:29 AM

    Shame that the front office listened to Magini last year and traded away Harrison. Also didn’t help that Bell was useless after they acquired him.

  3. philsimmsisadouche says: Jul 10, 2011 9:37 AM

    <>

    Tiki Barber, welcome to Cleveland.

  4. bucks82 says: Jul 10, 2011 9:41 AM

    How about a WR?

  5. woodyg says: Jul 10, 2011 9:43 AM

    It’s a good idea that the Browns are aware of the limitations of Hillis & intend to give him some help ….. However, the real interesting part of the Brown’s season will be if they can hold off the Bengals for cellar-dwellar in the AFC North …. It should be an epic battle between the Brownies & the Bengals to see who can win 4 or 5 games for the season & avoid last place ……..

  6. paulbrownsrevenge says: Jul 10, 2011 9:54 AM

    Harrison wanted out. No one saw Hillis coming, but Hardesty until the knee injury was pegged as the guy. I still think Hardesty will have a good season. Mike Bell is bad, I’m sure whoever they sign will fill the void. Browns have other concerns than runningback. Marecic will be a manchild. I say move Vickers to RB, sign Matt Light and just cram the ball down teams throats the whole game.

  7. jthammerstix says: Jul 10, 2011 10:00 AM

    No tiki. No burress. They are all balls. 8D

  8. clownsfan says: Jul 10, 2011 10:15 AM

    I’d go after Ahmad Bradshaw.

  9. kepickle says: Jul 10, 2011 10:21 AM

    there will be a lot of RB’s who could easly fit here DeAngelo will be a High priced But what about Ronnie Brown or Michael Bush, Jerome Harrison,Derrick Locke, RB, but what about Reggie Bush

  10. brownsfrown says: Jul 10, 2011 10:31 AM

    In related news, the Clowns have inked a deal with the Pray For a Miracle Network, just in case this new approach fizzles like all the bright ideas before it.

  11. bronconation7 says: Jul 10, 2011 10:37 AM

    “No one saw Hillis coming,”

    Broncos fans can tell you we saw Hillis coming. I mean who wants a back that runs over people, picks up blitzes, works his butt off, and catches out of the backfield. McDaniels must have been a Browns fan as a kid and wanted to give you guys some payback for The Drive and The Fumble.

    The greatest thing about him was that the Raiders drafted his supposed better backfield mate, in McFadden, like 12 rounds before him. Thanks Josh!

  12. goawayeverybody says: Jul 10, 2011 10:54 AM

    I hope Reggie Bush likes cold weather.

  13. bigtrav425 says: Jul 10, 2011 11:10 AM

    This makes no sense.They have been talking Hardesty up for the last yr or so making him sound like a stud RB before he even takes a snap and now that want a RB??..shoulda drafted one!!…this need needs to be lower on the list.they need a veteran WR,D-Lineman,LB and a right guard/tackle before a rb!

  14. rambo08 says: Jul 10, 2011 11:22 AM

    What you talkin bout Hillis?

  15. Soulman45 says: Jul 10, 2011 11:33 AM

    The NFL start and end with the QB without one your team is not going far tell the brownies to get a QB and then they can talk.

  16. wryly1 says: Jul 10, 2011 11:43 AM

    You can’t count on Hardesty coming back from severe injury. Simple as that. If he does, it’s upside, but not anything that should be expected.

    Getting rid of Jerome Harrison for Mike Bell was Mangini’s doing. It wasn’t that Harrison wanted out, it was because Mangenius had him in his doghouse, so that roster spot was not being utilized.

    I don’t think Josh Cribbs is much of a receiver – and with the new rules, he value as a kick returner has been dimished, but he is big enough, strong enough, fast enough and versatile enough to be the alternative or change-of-pace back. He’s a guy who makes things happen when gets the ball.

  17. schmitty2 says: Jul 10, 2011 12:04 PM

    I would worry more about the WR’s and getting the passing game going. If they can accomplish that then I think they are fine with Hillis and Hardesty

  18. Sayre Bedinger says: Jul 10, 2011 12:15 PM

    Hindsight, trading away Hillis was probably the most colossally dumb thing Josh McDaniels will ever do as a member of the NFL. This guy didn’t come from nowhere–we all saw him tear apart the NFL at the end of the 2008 season, and then Josh never gave him a chance in 2009 cause he fumbled on a kick return. Sad stuff.

    I have a #22 Hillis jersey hanging in my closet, and it’s sad that it’ll probably never be relevant again.

    Oh the Browns are looking to sign a FA running back? How about a used Cadillac?

  19. bwisnasky says: Jul 10, 2011 12:34 PM

    The greatest thing about him was that the Raiders drafted his supposed better backfield mate, in McFadden, like 12 rounds before him. Thanks Josh!

    ——————————————–
    Yeah.. must burn your a$$ that McFadden got to sit down in the middle of the 3rd quarter last year at Mile High, because he already had 4 touchdowns and looked pretty damned unstoppable… In fact, he seems to save his best games for the Denver Donkies….

  20. MVQB7 says: Jul 10, 2011 12:40 PM

    Tiki Barber? Lmao Maybe they ought to give Archie Griffin a call too? Where is Tim Manoa ( the tonga tank) when you need him?

  21. uwsptke says: Jul 10, 2011 12:50 PM

    Leave it to the Browns and the Broncos to turn back to the 4-3 when everyone else is moving to the 3-4.

  22. therevdewitt says: Jul 10, 2011 1:12 PM

    Tiki and Plaxico? No thanks. What kind of organization would make a first-time HC deal with those egos when they are trying to rebuild. Holmgren is smarter than that. Besides, they need to build from the ground up, getting younger, not older.

    I’d like to see Shurmur use Cribbs as a change-of-pace back. I’d love to see what he could do with screens out of the backfield.

  23. lgwelsh1 says: Jul 10, 2011 2:45 PM

    The Browns are righting the ship, the last thing they need to do is to sign some aging “stars”.

    The main thing they found out was Colt McCoy is a gamer. That kid plays with a chip on his shoulder and wants to win more than anything.

    Hillis is the same way, he plays pissed off and has something to prove.

    Get more guys with this attitude, no big names, sign players who want to win.

  24. transam7816 says: Jul 10, 2011 3:19 PM

    Helloooo Reggie Bush. Need a smaller back for change of pace and another threat for Colt

  25. trickbunny says: Jul 10, 2011 4:38 PM

    uwsptke says:
    Jul 10, 2011 12:50 PM

    Leave it to the Browns and the Broncos to turn back to the 4-3 when everyone else is moving to the 3-4.
    —————————————————-

    For one, I could swear the Browns ran a 3-4 defense for about the last 7 0r 8 seasons. God forbid a team who has done poorly for so long tries something different to improve their chances.

    Two- So the Browns will be one of only a few teams who are running a 4-3? That’s GOOD because it will mean that most teams are used to planning and playing against 3-4 defenses.

    Maybe you’re not as smart as you think you are.

  26. 4512dawg4512 says: Jul 10, 2011 6:18 PM

    Reggie Bush could be on the market, maybe Tikki, and then think about getting Plax or T.O. I’d love to see T.O in the orange and brown! He’d make Colt look like a stud

  27. browniebuck says: Jul 10, 2011 7:18 PM

    Reggie Bush? Tiki Barber? T.O.? The only names that I really liked that I have seen in the replies are Plaxico Burress (for OUR price), Ahmad Bradshaw, and Michael Bush. I like Plax as a big target for Colt to throw to and I like either Michael Bush or Bradshaw as a 8-12 carry per game change of pace for Hillis. As for Reggie, Tiki, and T.O…we should pass without looking under the hood.

  28. hedphurst says: Jul 10, 2011 8:02 PM

    If they go for a vet with significant experience: Jerious Norwood, Kevin Smith, Brian Westbrook, or Garrett Wolfe would all be reasonable targets.

    If they want a young veteran: Kenneth Darby, Devin Moore, or Kareem Huggins would be solid choices.

    Personally, I’d rather see them go after undrafted free agents Noel Devine and/or Derrick Locke, though.

  29. marjax says: Jul 10, 2011 11:48 PM

    hedphurst has it right, whoever gave him a thumbs down is a flippin moron. I’m fully expecting them to add a scatback type from the undrafted free agent crop. A little surprised they’re talking about adding someone with experience… makes me think it’ll just be insurance in case Hardesty doesn’t make it out of the preseason again, and giving a vet a chance to stake a claim to some snaps.

    Reggie Bush would fit the mold as a change of pace guy too. I doubt he’d sign to be #3 on the depth chart of a team still trying to get things right.

    Do the rest of you know what a change of pace back is? It’s not just someone else to throw into the rotation. It’s a back with an entirely different skillset. We’ve got two bruising backs in Cleveland, and you guys think Ahmad Bradshaw, Tiki Barber, or Michael Bush are gonna be a change of pace? Good God.

  30. franklinstking says: Jul 11, 2011 5:43 PM

    hedphurs. The only post that made sense, and Heckert will look that way.

  31. franklinstking says: Jul 11, 2011 5:44 PM

    marjax too.

  32. franklinstking says: Jul 11, 2011 5:51 PM

    Tiki, Plaxico, T. O., and Reggie Bush are not going to play for the Browns, and Heckert doesn’t want them. This organization is rebuilding, looking for youth, and those players are looking to play for marquee teams. It’s not a match. Reggie, though still young, isn’t leaving N.O.

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