View Full Version : Steelers, Browns sitting still at running back

03-24-2012, 10:40 AM
Steelers, Browns sitting still at running back
By Jamison Hensley

The free-agent market for running backs has heated up, but the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns have been content to chill.

Both teams need to replace their leading rushers. The Steelers can't depend on Rashard Mendenhall (ACL surgery in January) this year, and the Browns didn't attempt to re-sign Peyton Hillis. If the season kicked off today, the Steelers would start Isaac Redman, and the Browns would go with either Montario Hardesty or Brandon Jackson.

Still, there's been no sense of urgency by either team, as a running back signed nearly every day this week. Mike Tolbert joined the Panthers on Monday. BenJarvus Green-Ellis went to the Bengals on Wednesday. And Michael Bush landed with the Bears on Thursday.

I could see where the Steelers might be content with Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, John Clay and Baron Batch, although it's still risky considering they have a combined 197 carries in the NFL. General manager Kevin Colbert insisted the Steelers weren't in the market for a running back more than any other position at the NFL combine last month, but that doesn't mean he has ruled it out completely.

The Browns' running back group of Hardesty, Jackson and Ogbonnaya totaled 600 rushing yards and one touchdown, and it's assumed they would add someone in free agency or the draft.

The remaining free-agent running backs aren't game-changers, but they can be productive. The top ones available are: Brandon Jacobs, Cedric Benson, Joseph Addai, Ryan Grant and Kevin Smith. There are possibilities for trades, but the Panthers aren't shopping Jonathan Stewart yet, and the Bears don't appear ready to move Matt Forte.

When it comes to the draft, the Browns have a big decision at running back. They could take Alabama running back Trent Richardson with the fourth overall pick or wait to find one in the second, third or fourth rounds.

Looking at what the Steelers and Browns have now, they would strengthen their teams if they added a running back. But their approach so far tells me these teams are either waiting for a good value in free agency, or they will look for another running back in the draft.

03-24-2012, 11:08 AM
Both teams are fine at the position. Tim Lumber... Err I mean Hensley, needs to get his head out of his ass and write about something relevant. The talent in the backfield for both the Browns or Steelers isn't excellent, but it's passable. There are other needs on both rosters which far exceed tailback.

Steel Boss
03-24-2012, 12:20 PM
Yup, I like the Steeler backfield just fine.

Though I would love to get a true game-breaker who catches a lot of passes, like Darren Sproles. But there aren't many of those around.

03-24-2012, 02:19 PM
Agreed, we are fine at RB. If we get a good starting guard or two I think Redman will have a huge year.

03-24-2012, 06:44 PM
Agreed, we are fine at RB. If we get a good starting guard or two I think Redman will have a huge year.


03-25-2012, 10:00 AM
If our urgent needs at OL are properly addressed, let's go with what we've got and see if that group can do it.
If our urgent needs at OL are not addressed it won't matter who the RB's are.
The limited productivity of our running game is tied to our shitty O-line, not the RB's.

03-25-2012, 11:37 AM
the clowns would be foolish to piss away the 4th pick on richardson. RB's do not win games. jones drew led the league with 1600 yds last year..how did that help jacksonville ? their receivers are garbage , but yet McCoy took all the heat last year. blackmon would be a much better pick for them at # 4 , or a pass rusher like ingram.