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It's tough to complain about Hillis shouldering the bulk of the responsibility for wins, since he does it so well and without complaint. I know, I know, if it ain't broke and all...
Yes, his productivity is fantastic and he seems to be able to tough it out through all the wear and tear, but at the end of the day we all still have to acknowledge that the way the Browns have been using Hillis is exactly how you kill a 24-year-old running back by his 27th birthday.
Obviously any team that has had a truly great running back on its roster (and let's be honest, Hilis hasn't even been around long enough for us to know this is what he is yet) expects to see that person account for the bulk of their offensive yardage and touchdowns.
Heck, we've got our very own perfect example of this, if you're willing to go a little ways back in time: Jim Brown certainly was a one-man wrecking crew responsible for most of the Browns' offense during his playing days.
But remember, Brown had a supporting cast around him that allowed him to avoid having to be solely responsible for whether the team won or lost.
The 'out there all alone' approach isn't working at the moment with Hillis. He has done a tremendous job, there's no denying that. But he's banged up and tired physically, and he also bears the burden of being a 24-year-old who is expected to be the most responsible person on the field for bringing home a win each week.
We've talked about creating more balance on the team ad nauseam, and just for emphasis we'll talk about it some more in this column, but this is one specific situation where the idea of balance is of the utmost importance.
Hillis has proven he's able, at least for the most part, to carry the offense on his shoulders alone. But he shouldn't have to.