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Running back controversy brewing in Cleveland

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08:04 AM ET 09.29 | The Browns may have traded one controversy for another. For the first time in years, the Browns do not have a quarterback controversy. They might, however, have some issues bubbling in their backfield with Peyton Hillis and Montario Hardesty. When Hillis was unable to play in Week 3 because of strep throat, Hardesty made his first NFL start and rushed for 67 yards on 14 carries in Cleveland's 17-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Both players were in uniform Wednesday as the Browns returned to the practice field, prompting coach Pat Shurmur to comment on their status going forward. "What happened on Sunday, we learned that Montario is further along than I thought he was and can handle more than I thought he could," Shurmur said.

The Chronicle Telegram

Peyton Hillis, Getty Images Peyton Hillis, Getty Images
September 29, 2011  08:09 AM ET

There is no controversy.

Let's make something else up, shall we?

September 29, 2011  08:10 AM ET

14 carries for 67 yards?

September 29, 2011  08:13 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

14 carries for 67 yards?

That's almost five YPC. It's good but not enough to generate a "controversy." Running back by committee works all the time. Quarterback by committee doesn't.

September 29, 2011  08:13 AM ET

Really? You barely won against one of the worst teams in the league. Go back to Hillis!

September 29, 2011  08:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

That's almost five YPC. It's good but not enough to generate a "controversy." Running back by committee works all the time. Quarterback by committee doesn't.

Good enough to create a "controversy" in the eyes of the media, but those numbers don't compare to what Hillis puts up.

September 29, 2011  08:18 AM ET

Someone is going to be steamed in Cleveland!

September 29, 2011  08:23 AM ET
QUOTE:

....or leaving a steaming pile

it is the dawg pound, right?

September 29, 2011  08:30 AM ET

"What happened on Sunday, we learned that Montario is further along than I thought he was and can handle more than I thought he could,"

What happened on Sunday is that they played the Dolphins.

September 29, 2011  08:51 AM ET
QUOTE(#10):

it is the dawg pound, right?

Is Vick allowed to play in the dawg pound?

September 29, 2011  08:53 AM ET

so they have two guys that seemingly can carry the ball; what's the issue?...

September 29, 2011  08:57 AM ET

First, he misses a game with strep throat. Now, less carries for Hillis would mean less yards and TDs! Way to go Coach Pat.....keep the Madden Curse alive!

September 29, 2011  09:28 AM ET

On most teams it wouldn't be a controversy to have 2 decent RB's, i guess it is major news in the land of Cleves. They don't know what to do!

September 29, 2011  09:44 AM ET

He's a unrestricted free agent after this season....I'm sure he'll be happy to play elsewhere...this could be more about seeeing if Montario can play so they can avoid paying Hillis big money next year.

September 29, 2011  09:51 AM ET

Whoa, those are impressive numbers. 17-16 and 67 yards. Stop the presses!

Comment #20 has been removed
September 29, 2011  10:25 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

Good enough to create a "controversy" in the eyes of the media, but those numbers don't compare to what Hillis puts up.

You're right, they don't compare but the media wants us to believe they do. The Browns are deep at RB now and I can't wait to see this tandem in the backfield the remainder of the season.

September 29, 2011  10:31 AM ET
QUOTE(#17):

He's a unrestricted free agent after this season....I'm sure he'll be happy to play elsewhere...this could be more about seeeing if Montario can play so they can avoid paying Hillis big money next year.

The news out of Cleveland is that they are working on a extension. With Hardestys knees I would be surprised if they let Hillis play out the season on his current contract.

September 29, 2011  10:32 AM ET

Hillis isn't getting benched. He "might" lose 2-3 touches a game because of Hardesty's progress but there's no reason to suggest that he's not the featured back. This is easily one of the weakest displays of media instigation that I've ever seen. Firstly, nobody pays attention to Cleveland. secondly, Peyton Hillis is STILL under the radar in terms of national exposure (yeah he's on Madden, what else). Thirdly, NOBODY pays attention to Cleveland. Thus, creating a conflict where there is none to be had in addition to creating one involving a player and team outside the national spotlight is just hackish. I can understand why it would be of interest to folks in the Cleveland area (which I'm guessing is where this bit originated) but SI must be REALLY stretched if "this" is the featured NFL T&R segment of the morning.

September 29, 2011  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

14 carries for 67 yards?

Dude, Betty White runs better than that.

 
September 29, 2011  10:46 AM ET
QUOTE(#24):

Dude, Betty White runs better than that.

OUCH!

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