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Mike Pettine embraces a committee approach in Browns’ backfield

Cleveland Browns Introduce Mike Pettine Getty Images

With Ben Tate, Dion Lewis and Terrance West at running back, the Browns don’t have any stars in their backfield. But coach Mike Pettine says that’s just fine.

Pettine told the Cleveland Plain Dealer that he’d prefer to use a committee approach at the position, reasoning that it’s better to keep everyone fresh than to give one guy too heavy a workload.

“I think in the AFC North, you have to be running back by committee. You’d like to have a guy that can carry most of the load, but also be able to alternate guys . . . you’ve got to be able to get fresh legs out there,” Pettine said.

Last year just four teams in the NFL had fewer rushing yards than the Browns, who finished the season with 1,383 yards on the ground. And no team had fewer than the Browns’ pathetic total of four rushing touchdowns. Whether it’s a committee approach or whether Tate, Lewis or West is able to emerge as a clear starter, the Browns have to be a lot better in the backfield this year than they were last year.

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23 Responses to “Mike Pettine embraces a committee approach in Browns’ backfield”
  1. nyyjetsknicks says: Jun 28, 2014 5:41 PM

    Unless you have AP, you be an idiot to do anything different.

  2. joeflaccoallday says: Jun 28, 2014 5:52 PM

    Willis Mcgahee was their starter. That should say it all.

  3. bornahawker says: Jun 28, 2014 6:23 PM

    I think MARSHAWN can handle the load. Sounds like Tate is a average at best back.

  4. nnagi says: Jun 28, 2014 6:51 PM

    Whatever Pettine, you’ll be fired by New Years day…another bad hire

  5. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jun 28, 2014 7:15 PM

    When you have 3, that means you dont have 1.

  6. kwjsb says: Jun 28, 2014 7:20 PM

    The committee approach is fine, unless you have guys that need to get in a rhythm, Mike Pruitt got stronger as the game went on. Sometimes you can over think things. If Tate is punishing them then leave him on the field.

  7. 1952vikefan says: Jun 28, 2014 7:37 PM

    who need running backs when you got Johnny football

  8. corvetteman6 says: Jun 28, 2014 8:29 PM

    There was a time when Pettine was known as a pretty decent high school coach. After the next couple years, he’ll still be known as a decent high school coach.

  9. ravens2xworldchamps says: Jun 28, 2014 9:29 PM

    West will get the job

  10. brownoholic says: Jun 28, 2014 9:32 PM

    Actually, Tate will get banged up & West will thrive. I won’t declare him a star but I’ll be snatching him up in my keeper leagues.

    People will be surprised when they finally see Lewis in action too. Trust me.

  11. officialgame says: Jun 28, 2014 9:32 PM

    No running game and a rookie QB who spends more time in Vegas then his play book. It’s just a matter of time until Johnny Football is rebranded Johnny Angel.

  12. charmcitychampions says: Jun 28, 2014 9:45 PM

    He was, what, the 22nd guy that got offered the Cleveland Job? LOL. He can pretty much do whatever he wants cause he knows they never really wanted him anyway. He should be coaching like he has got nothing to lose. He likely gets fired next year anyway while they continue their HC search. That entire organization is a joke top to bottom.

  13. dukeblue12 says: Jun 28, 2014 9:54 PM

    I think that’s a solid approach, especially when you have 4 decent RBs. This article didn’t even mention Isaiah Crowell, who probably has a better chance of making the roster than Dion Lewis.

  14. cefunding1 says: Jun 28, 2014 10:31 PM

    Most people that make comments about the organization being a joke doesn’t pay attention to what is going on there. Farmer knows what he is doing. Pettine will have a longer leash than Chud just from a PR standpoint. And when you have 3, you HAVE 3! This isn’t a quarterback situation. And hoyer is starting, not manziel.

  15. gleinb says: Jun 28, 2014 11:08 PM

    Don’t tell Ben Tate he’s not a star running back. He’ll give you what for.

  16. deerhuntinfool71 says: Jun 28, 2014 11:13 PM

    I really liked what i saw from edwin baker towards the end of the season. He ran hard between the tackles and had some real toughness to him. I would like him to hang around for sure. Would be a good third down back.

  17. thundersnacker says: Jun 29, 2014 12:18 AM

    Do they all have the same playbook?

  18. nattination says: Jun 29, 2014 1:12 AM

    Farmer knows what he is doing? That’s hilarious.

  19. chinahand11 says: Jun 29, 2014 3:07 AM

    Backs get stronger when they are having a good day. Ask any RB on any level. Well, maybe not Peewee league. Those little goobers can run all day anyway.

  20. coonsqualler says: Jun 29, 2014 8:47 AM

    Trent Richardson 188 ATT for 563= 3.0 YPC

    Willis McGahee 138 ATT for 377= 2.7 YPC

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLO

    Ben Tate 181 ATT for 771= 4.3 YPC

    I would say we should be better off..

    Just Sayin’…Go Brownies!!

  21. panamajimmy54 says: Jun 29, 2014 12:19 PM

    I got Tate West Crowell and Lewis making the team. 3 pounders and a little juice. We are lint years ahead of last season..Maybe Jimmy Haslam was eating his feet wet or whatever. I just wish Chud had gotten what Pettine is getting.. Don,t get me wrong I like Mike. I like his approach. We don’t need a superstar Q/B if we can control the ball on the round and with defense

  22. brownsmakemecrazy says: Jun 29, 2014 4:46 PM

    Browns are not any better than they were last year and if Gordon is out for 8 games they will be worse

    They botched the draft AGAIN. They have a worse head coach and offensive coordinator.

    Areas of Improvement: RB

    STEPS BACK: HEAD COACH, WR only because Gordon most likely will be suspended all or at least half of the season. No one or 3 players can replace him.

    Only wins will be Oakland and Houston. This year has 2-14 written all over it.

    Their inability to address the WR position is mind boggling to me. They needed to upgrade the 2 other WR positions with Gordon. Now with him gone they are worse.

    Not saying CB didn’t need upgraded becuz Shrine is awful but their WRs are a joke. Their offense or lack thereof is why they have double digits losses every year. They just don’t get it

  23. geezuslvs says: Jun 30, 2014 11:42 AM

    look! All you brown’s haters, and browns huggers who seem to lack depth and knowledge of this game we love so much. Listen up! if you think the 2014 Browns are being to be worse than the 2013 Browns, you really don’t have clue on the intense workings on improving a team. Everything about the Browns this year are better, from the coaching staff, management to the players, they all have improved considerably. And for those of you who don’t think R. Farmer is doing a great job as the GM, don’t know the game, and you sure don’t know players; and for those of you who think Mnziekl will start, give me a break, he won’t start, but he’ll be, in the end, one of the best little QBs that ever played in the NFL.

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