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Richardson only sure thing in Browns' backfield

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Posted June 16, 2012 @ 7:39 p.m. ET
By Mike Wilkening

Browns president Mike Holmgren sees first-round pick Trent Richardson adjusting well to the NFL game. “I think the transition for a running back to come into this league as a runner is maybe as easy as any position on the team because running is running and it is kind of instinctual,” Holmgren said of Richardson, who figures to be the Browns’ lead back right off the bat. Holmgren added, “Now, his challenge is as a pass blocker. That’s the big deal. That’s the big change. But he certainly can handle it and I like our depth at running back.”

The way we hear it, Richardson’s involvement in the passing game will be a factor in how many reps the Browns’ other backs get. Ex-Packers RB Brandon Jackson, who caught 110 passes in four seasons in Green Bay, can be an asset on passing downs and figures to be one of the backups this season after missing all of 2011 with turf toe. Montario Hardesty, who has been bothered by injuries in his first two NFL seasons, caught 14 passes in 2011, but his greatest value — provided he can stay healthy — is as an inside runner. Chris Ogbonnaya (23 catches in 2011) showed well when injuries gave him a chance to play last season, and the club likes him, we’re told, but he’s probably fourth in the pecking order right now.

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