It doesn't surprise me that the Run game is struggling ... the writing is on the wall.
When Ben Tate suffered a knee injury in the second half of the Season Opener, it's been a miss handling of the position ever since. There was good in getting Rookies Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell some reps, but it has seemed to be nothing but negative vibes from the Browns brass ever since.
I was surprised as hell when I picked up the Plain Dealer a few weeks ago and with the running game performing exceptionally well and there was a huge article about how the Browns declared Crowell the starter. I remember thinking to myself, "Why in the world would you start putting labels ("starter" / "back-up") on these two kids in the midst of them doing so well as a tandem?" That was a Huge negative to West and added pressure to Crowell. Why feel the need to declare anything at that point? Why not just ride the good vibe from the position?
I do not even think that the Browns ever took the field with Crowell as this newly appointed starter, as Tate returned from injury and now was given the job back. Huge blow to Crowells psyche.
It didn't stop there with playing with these young backs minds, as the Browns coaching staff then let it be known that they wanted one of the three-headed-monster to step up and secure the starting role over-overwhelmingly, so that they can toss the other two behind the shed for storage.
Negative to West while the going was good he got labeled a failure/back-up.
Negative to Crowell as they yanked the floating carpet out from under him when Tate returned.
Negative to Tate as since his return the running back position went from the strength of the team to non-existent.
Could this position have been handled any worse since about week #3?
How about showering the rookies with praise, welcoming Tate back and ease him into the position while positively weeding the others out? How about finding some new roles for each? How about keeping it positive instead of caving into the 'salary game' and 'fantasy football game' where a player needs so many reps and such many stats. How about keeping it as a "TEAM", for the good of the TEAM?
Next we will be trading one of them because it is too hard to have three good backs.