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Zero2Cool  
#1 Posted : Monday, September 23, 2013 10:00:46 AM(UTC)
Steve Serby said:
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The Browns never have won a Super Bowl, and won’t until they find their Joe Flacco or their Ben Roethlisberger.

Trent Richardson wasn’t about to carry them to one anymore than Adrian Peterson will be carrying the Christian Ponder Vikings to one.

The shocking trade of Richardson to the Colts, much to the ire of recent CEO Mike Holmgren, shines a blinding light on the franchise’s failure to find a franchise quarterback — from Tim Couch to Charlie Frye to Derek Anderson to Brady Quinn to Colt McCoy to Brandon Weeden — in a league more quarterback-driven than ever.

Holmgren drafted McCoy in the third round in 2010 and both Richardson and Weeden in the first round in 2012 — a draft that produced Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Ryan Tannehill in the first round and Russell Wilson in the third round. In the second round of the 2011 draft, the Bengals selected Andy Dalton and the 49ers landed Colin Kaepernick directly in front of the Browns. The trade of Richardson for a second first-round pick positions the Browns to be major players in the quarterback-rich 2014 NFL Draft.

Richardson averaged just 3.5 yards per carry, and there are reports he sometimes behaved like he would have preferred to be back at Alabama.

It is no coincidence that not a single back was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL draft. Like middle or inside linebacker, the position has become devalued.

On the other hand, when you have your franchise quarterback, as the Colts do with Luck, you can move to complement him with a back who could very well flourish with a change of scenery.

“Nothing against Brandon Weeden, but pairing him up with Andrew Luck, and with a receiver like Reggie Wayne, that could make them a definite contender,” Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders told The Post. “I don’t want to get too carried away, but it has to remind you a little bit of the days of Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James.”

Sanders does not consider Richardson a franchise back just yet.

“I can’t put him in that category just yet,” he said. “I see him in the same mold as Ray Rice — built low to the ground, carries his weight very well.”

The Giants drafted David Wilson at the bottom of the first round in 2012 with that kind of home run ability to help balance out Eli Manning’s offense, but well-chronicled fumbling issues have held him back.

“I don’t know his personality,” Sanders said. “I know that’s something he has to practice every day. It’s something you can work on when you go home. … If you need to take it to a grocery store and just work on it. I know Coach [Tom] Coughlin is pretty no-nonsense, and he wants to send a strong message to his young ball player. He wants to be able to depend on him late in the season.”

Sanders carried 486 times between fumbles from 1993-95.

“You can work on not fumbling when you’re not at practice,” Sanders said. “You’re not just carrying the ball with you. You actually work on your technique when defenders hit you.”

The Buccaneers selected Doug Martin one spot ahead of Wilson and have been rewarded by the Muscle Hamster.

“Good power, but very shifty and good speed,” Sanders said.

Rex Ryan and the Jets know they must contain Buffalo’s C.J. Spiller on Sunday, as rookie quarterback E. J. Manuel begins to learn his craft.

“I’m impressed with Spiller,” Sanders said. “I thought coming out of Clemson, Spiller was more of a wide receiver. The guy’s so fast and he’s becoming more and more an everyday running back.”

Does Sanders see similarities between Spiller and himself?

“I think he’s very quick, very fast,” Sanders said. “I probably did more of the side-to-side stuff.”

The back who reminds some of the now-you-see-him-now-you-don’t Barry is LeSean McCoy.

“I’ve heard that comparison,” Sanders said. “There are some similarities there. He’s slippery. He’s always a moving target. … He can hit you with a long run with his speed.”

Sanders is optimistic his former team, the Lions, have found in Reggie Bush an ideal complement for receiver Calvin Johnson.

“There’s no reason why [Bush] couldn’t be close to a 2,000-yard all-purpose guy,” Sanders said. “I see him as a Roger Craig-type guy who can be a nightmare to linebackers, and even safeties would have a problem covering Reggie Bush.”

Sanders isn’t so sure that Peterson will reach 2,500 yards, but 2,000 again, maybe?

“I believe he’s a guy we’ll probably see do it twice,” Sanders said. “Even this year is not too late. I think they should probably bring in as many linemen as they possibly can to protect this guy. Linemen and tight ends. You just never know what play is gonna be the play.”

Sanders was asked if anyone runs as violently as All Day does.

“I think Marshawn Lynch has a very aggressive running style,” he said.

Sanders will be in New York next week for the opening of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s new “Gridiron Glory” exhibit at the Liberty Science Center.

“A lot of what you’ll see in Canton you’ll see in the traveling exhibit,” Sanders said.

Barry knows Canton.
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