Peyton Hillis Should Get More Carries and Attention Following Harrison Trade

Andy Bailey@@AndrewDBaileyFeatured ColumnistOctober 14, 2010

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 10:  Running back Peyton Hillis #40 of the Cleveland Browns scores a touchdown in front of outside tackle Kroy Biermann #71 of the Atlanta Falcons at Cleveland Browns Stadium on October 10, 2010 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

Peyton Hillis has been one of the only bright spots for the Cleveland Browns this year. He is 14th in the NFL in rushing yards and tied for third in rushing touchdowns.  He would be higher up that list if the Browns hadn't been trying so hard to get Jerome Harrison involved.

Harrison had a fantastic game toward the end of last season in which he ran for 286 yards and three touchdowns.  The Browns gave Harrison a good amount of carries during the games he was healthy, hoping he would break out once again.

He hasn't, and the Browns have made a smart decision to trade him.

Now, Hillis is the undisputed lead runner, a position he always deserved in Cleveland and also in Denver.

He is the best offensive player on the Browns.  He is not only their leading rusher; he is also second on the team in receptions and fourth in receiving yards.  

His speed is largely under appreciated, but power running is his forte.  He prefers to run over and through defenders as opposed to around them.  Combine his 6'2", 250 pound body with his 4.5 speed, and you have a player that can cause would-be tacklers to tremble at the thought of trying to bring him down.

Hillis's average yards per carry is better than six players in the top 10 in rushing yards. His 20 receptions are better than any running back in the top 10 in rushing yards.

The Browns need to focus on utilizing their best weapon more, and with Harrison gone, I assume they will.

They have a very difficult game coming up this week against the Steelers, and it looks like rookie Colt McCoy will be starting at quarterback.  If they want to have a shot at this game, they better be willing to dish out a steady dose of Hillis.