Receiver boost to come from within

Posted by Vic Carucci on October 5, 2012 – 9:24 pm

By Vic Carucci, Senior Editor

You’ve got questions and comments that you submit to the Browns’ official Facebook and Twitter pages. Here’s what I have to say about what you have to say:

Lorraine – Don’t you think the Browns should beg, borrow and steal a wide receiver from somewhere?

No, Lorraine.

First, I don’t think the begging-borrowing-stealing approach has much of a track record of success in the NFL. At this time of the season, any receiver you acquire is likely someone who has been available long enough to create serious doubts about his ability to be an upgrade for your team.

The Browns simply need to get better production from the receivers they have. And I think those receivers are capable of performing much better. I especially think that rookie Josh Gordon, who has had considerable catching up to do because of his long absence from college football and his late arrival to the team as a supplemental draft pick is near or at a point where he is ready to deliver a breakout performance. The coaches have raved about his practices this week.

It also would help a great deal for Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin, both listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against the Giants with hamstring injuries, to get healthy as soon as possible.

Randy – Why is Trent Richardson not a third-down back?

Randy, I fully expect Richardson to become more involved in third-down situations as his rookie season progresses.

The reason that role has generally belonged to Chris Ogbonnaya is largely because of Richardson’s lack of experience when it comes to picking up blitzers and running pass routes and all of the other duties that go with being a running back on third down. Ogbonnaya is older and has a better feel for those areas.

However, as he plays more games (remember, he missed the entire preseason after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery), Richardson will gain greater familiarity with the various third-down duties. He is more than capable of handling them well, as he demonstrated at Alabama.

But the greater complexity of NFL defenses presents a far more daunting challenge, and it is understandable that the Browns would want to try and minimize the chances of Brandon Weeden, who as a fellow rookie also is feeling his way when it comes to NFL-level blitz recognition, taking a big hit because the running back didn’t pick up a blitzer.

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