Having too many players at a particular position is never a problem in the NFL, especially for the Browns. The team isn’t used to having its pick over players at any position; the process usually goes that the Browns are happy with whoever they can scrounge up to fill the perpetually numerous holes. However, going into the 2010 season, the Browns will have quite a logjam at the running back position.
Here are the players currently vying for a spot in the rotation: Jerome Harrison, Montario Hardesty, Lawrence Vickers, Peyton Hillis, Chris Jennings, and James Davis. Vickers is a strong blocking fullback and Hillis will be used in short-yardage situations, so playing time can be found for both of them. Harrison is obviously the starter at the moment, so that leaves Hardesty, Jennings, and Davis fighting for that precious playing time. With the initial impression that Hardesty has left on the coaching staff, it would seem that he has in a position to potentially make an impact early in his career.
That doesn’t automatically mean that Jennings and Davis are out of a job. After all, this was only the rookie minicamp. But should Hardesty – or Jennings or Davis – get that playing time, it should not be seen as a bad thing by the running backs who lose out. The Browns are out to maintain that depth at the running back position, and there is always the unfortunate threat of injury. Not to mention the fact that all of the running backs on the roster are relatively unproven – if not completely unproven – in the league, which should keep the competition wide open.
There are a lot of question marks at the running back position this season, such as: how will Jerome Harrison hold up as a starter for the whole season? Will James Davis bounce back from his season-ending injury? What can the Browns expect from rookie Montario Hardesty? How will the Browns utilize both Peyton Hillis and Lawrence Vickers? Despite the number of questions the running back position brings up, these issues that analyze the depth of the position (and not the lack of it) will always be welcomed by the Browns.