Pettine: Browns' 3-headed RB group a 'good problem'


Entering Sunday's game the Cleveland Browns owned the NFL's third-best rushing attack (146.4 yards per game), but could only manage 69 yards on 33 carries against a middling Jacksonville Jaguars defense.

Ben Tate ran for just 36 yards on 16 attempts, rookie Isaiah Crowell earned just 18 on seven carries and a disappointing Terrance West gained eight yards on five carries (and was benched early after failing to convert two short down and distances).

"We'll have a discussion this week as to how to best rotate those guys," Browns coach Mike Pettine said Monday, per the Akron Beacon Journal. "You could make the argument it's a good problem to have, but you're still dealing with the word 'problem.'"

Missing center Alex Mack surely played its part, but after filling in splendidly when Tate was injured the rookie duo of West and Crowell have struggled to maintain consistency. Both pointed to the team juggling three backs as one source of the problem.

"It's difficult sometimes because running backs have to feel a defense out and get into a good rhythm," West said. "But at the end of the day, it's about winning."

"It's hard to get into rhythm with three guys just because you don't get warm," Crowell said. "You kind of come to the sideline and kind of get kind of cold. But it's been all right. It's been working so far. We've been winning games. So I don't have a problem with it."

A solution might be for Pettine to bench one of the rookies altogether.

The latest Around The NFL Podcast recaps every Week 7 game, and breaks down Peyton Manning's record-breaking night. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.