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Dion Lewis healthy, determined to move back into Browns backfield mix

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Browns coach Mike Pettine said recently that the team is planning to use a committee system at running back this season.

We know that free agent acquisition Ben Tate and rookie Terrance West will be part of that mix, but there’s some jockeying going on for the other spots on the depth chart. One of the aspiring runners is Dion Lewis, who broke his leg last summer and missed a season that may have offered him ample playing time once the Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Colts. The Browns have changed coaches and offenses since Lewis was injured, leaving him unsure of how he fits but eager to show that he can thrive in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan’s system.

“I don’t know,” Lewis said, via the Akron Beacon Journal. “I’m still very excited to get back there and prove that I’m 100 percent recovered from the injury. With new coaches, everybody is learning a new system. So I feel like I’ve learned the system well, and I’m looking forward to getting out there and competing with the rest of the guys.”

Undrafted rookie Isaiah Crowell earned good notices during the offseason program and the Browns also have Edwin Baker and Chris Ogbonnaya competing for spots on the roster, so Lewis is going to have to show that he’s a better fit for Shanahan’s one-cut, zone-blocking approach to the running game.

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20 Responses to “Dion Lewis healthy, determined to move back into Browns backfield mix”
  1. doctorrustbelt says: Jul 4, 2014 10:15 AM

    REMIND ME: Who are the starting wide receivers???

  2. cclautti says: Jul 4, 2014 10:37 AM

    Until otherwise stated Josh Gordon is still on team, you know the best wr in the league, and it looks like it will only be a a few games compared to a whole season. Plus additions of Hawkins and Austin, o yeah and a pro bowl right end in Cameron, so don’t sleep on the browns this year

  3. davewr58 says: Jul 4, 2014 10:51 AM

    Assuming Gordon is banned … Hawkins, Austin, Anthony Armstrong/Charles Johnson would be my guess right now with possible surprises from Chandler Jones and Willie Snead.

  4. doctorrustbelt says: Jul 4, 2014 11:13 AM

    Sure… anyone is better than Greg Little/Davone Bess/Fozzy Whitaker (blame it ALLLL on Brandon Weeden)… but… aged, declining Miles Austin and disappearing, dwarf Andrew Hawkins is not a great leap in receiving corps quality.

  5. boctavious says: Jul 4, 2014 12:15 PM

    You don’t need big name WRs to win. The formula the browns are using is to run, play great defense. Modeled after the Seahawks. @ doctorrustbelt

  6. iamdinguskhan says: Jul 4, 2014 12:18 PM

    If the Browns have solid quarterback play I think they can be a pretty good team with Gordon in the lineup. Best thing they could do is not cave in to the pressure and start Hoyer and let Manziel sit a year or 2…the kid is way to immature and raw at this point to lead a NFL team.

  7. davewr58 says: Jul 4, 2014 12:22 PM

    I think people, especially sports writers, are stressing unnecessarily about the loss of Gordon. Shanahan’s offense will work just fine without him, and I think some of the UDFA’s are going to surprise all of use at WR. With the new running game, the Browns offense will be so much better than last year, with or without Gordon.

  8. ravensrunthenfl says: Jul 4, 2014 12:33 PM

    The fact that you could possibly get carries on the browns doesn’t mean much. I could get touches on the browns. Johnny football will be their leading rusher this year. #3-13

  9. davewr58 says: Jul 4, 2014 12:36 PM

    ravensrunthenfl – Prediction: Browns have better record than the Ravens … bank it!

  10. johnnycash19 says: Jul 4, 2014 12:38 PM

    Guy was a beast at Pitt back in the day. I’m surprised he hasn’t done anything in the NFL.

    And while we’re on the topic.

    I’ve had the chance to see Megatron, Gordan, Andre and Fitz perform in person.

    I’ll still label Megatron #1 for now, but Gordan isn’t far behind. If Gordan can stay away from the suspensions (even if it is for something stupid, why isn’t weed legal?) I think he could take over the #1 spot in a few years as the big 3 start to decline/retire.

  11. davewr58 says: Jul 4, 2014 12:48 PM

    johnnycash19 – Weed isn’t legal because it is far more dangerous than alcohol. More negative data comes out each year. It causes heart attacks, cancer of the head, neck and colon and has debilitating effects that last up to several days. We already have too many drunks on the road; we don’t need another bunch who are on weed (legally).

  12. doctorrustbelt says: Jul 4, 2014 12:50 PM

    You don’t need big name wide receivers… but… you definitely need high quality depth at the receiving position/s in this modern pass happy NFL.

    It takes more than one great wide receiver in this modern pass happy NFL.

    A team needs 3 receivers/2 quality receiving options at tight end/running back/s with receiving ability.

    2013 Seattle Seahawks:
    1) #4 ranked RUSH Offense in the NFL
    2) respectable depth at the receiving positions 3) #1 Defense in the NFL.

    Cleveland has a long way to go from all three.

  13. dumbpollack says: Jul 4, 2014 1:43 PM

    If we can somehow catch a break and not lose Gordon for a majority of the year, we may be surprised. Feel better about this team than I have in a long time.

  14. drfeelyouup says: Jul 4, 2014 2:44 PM

    Willis Mcghee was better than T Rich. Yikes.

  15. clownsfan says: Jul 4, 2014 2:54 PM

    West Tate Crowell & Lewis. There’s your RBs. They’ll probably keep 1 more as well. They are gonna run run & run. And then run some more.

  16. ccc23454 says: Jul 4, 2014 3:36 PM

    a injured Dion Lewis will rank higher than a healthy Donte Wimpner on top 100 players no matter who votes…

  17. ballboy48 says: Jul 4, 2014 3:36 PM

    @doctorrustbelt….Remind me again, how many of SEA WR were in the TOP 30? ZERO!!! Cleveland had two and had the top WR last year, and finished with 4 wins. It’s more than who your WR’s are. A good Defense and run game help.

  18. mrfrostyj says: Jul 4, 2014 4:06 PM

    According to those that actually covered the Browns OTA’s the Browns receivers looked great as long as captain money phone wasn’t the one throwing (almost) to them. Also Gordon is officially not the only pro bowl “pass catcher” Cleveland has according to Jordan Camerons twitter.

    Anyway regarding this story The Browns 2013 season would have been a lot different had Dion Lewis not gotten injured. The guy made Trent Richardson look pedestrian in the pre-season.

    I do agree that the Browns are either going to suck or be a playoff team whether Gordon is there or not. He’s great for stats and fantasy football but much like Megatron isn’t a game changer. If anything depending on him too much was part of the problem.

  19. brownout19 says: Jul 4, 2014 11:57 PM

    So happy the browns coaching staff understands the importance of a running game. Don’t know what norv was thinking last year, but the browns lost a lot of games late because they could not control clock with a running game. As long as Lewis is fully healthy, he should make the team as #4 RB.

  20. pfu2 says: Jul 5, 2014 12:59 AM

    How is Gordon not a game changer? He led the league in yards? Also, Lewis was is for a big year last year after an impressive preseason. He’s now on a back burner. I must say, Browns running game went from zeros to heroes!!!

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