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Chuck Pagano sees Donald Brown as 'bell cow' back

Donald Brown will never be confused with Adrian Peterson, but Indianapolis Colts coach Chuck Pagano sees his running back as a legit No. 1 option.

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"Donald is an every-down back," Pagano said Wednesday, according to The Indianapolis Star. "He is doing a tremendous job and he is having a fantastic offseason. He understands, especially on third down as far as protections go and all of those things. Nothing is going to be more important than protections."

Brown had just 645 yards rushing last season, but he averaged 4.8 yards per attempt, good for 11th in the league. He currently sits at the top of a depth chart that includes Delone Carter, Darren Evans, Vick Ballard and Deji Karim. The team added another back Wednesday in signing veteran Mewelde Moore.

Not exactly a murderer's row, we know. But Pagano believes Indianapolis has a wealth of options.

"You just don't want to wear somebody out," Pagano said. "You've got a bell cow (in Brown), so to speak, and a lot of teams have a third-down guy. So if we can keep guys fresh, and guys are able to go out and execute the offense, then we will use them for sure."

Pagano can imagine it, but the "bell cow" title is earned in the NFL. Brown carried the ball 134 times last season. If he can double that and maintain that pretty average, then Pagano knows he has himself a No. 1.

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