Ronnie Brown Trade Off: Why Detroit Lions Will Be Just Fine Without the Back
Wednesday, as the trade deadline loomed for the NFL, the Detroit Lions made a deal. They sent running back Jerome Harrison to the Philadelphia Eagles for fellow veteran back and one-time NFL star Ronnie Brown.
Unfortunately, the Lions announced late Wednesday night that the trade was cancelled due to a failed physical. A pre-existing health problem by Jerome Harrison cancelled the pending deal for a solid backup running back.
Yet, this could be a blessing in disguise for the Lions. Brown seemed to already be a washed up running back, while Harrison did star as a solid backup for the Eagles last season.
The Lions will be just fine, though, without Brown. The backup job to Javhid Best is already Maurice Morris' to lose, while little-used Keiland Williams will jump into the short yardage role if Best cannot play this Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.
Not many Lions fans will miss Brown, who was in Detroit for only a few hours, and really wouldn't receive much playing time here anyways. The reasons why the Lions will be fine without Brown are as follows.
There Are Plenty of Free Agent Options
With breaking news just coming out of Detroit that RB Javhid Best is being advised to sit out the remainder of the season, the Lions now absolutely have to find a replacement for him. Best suffered his second concussion in the past two months, and has become a lingering problem for him.
If Best is to sit out the remainder of the season, the Lions will most definitely have to find a replacement for him. The good news is, is that there are plenty of short-term solutions to replace Best on the free agent market.
Some appealing players that the Lions should consider signing are running backs Laurence Maroney, who was targeted prior to the season, and fellow back Michael Bush.
Bush is a big, bruising back, who could provide that aggressiveness that the Lions have lacked in the running game for some time now. Maroney, a once successful back for the New England Patriots, would be a solid fit for the Lions as well.
The Lions Will Have an Effective Passing Game Against Atlanta
There is no denying the Lions' mediocre and damaged running game the past few games, and in recent memory. There is also no denying that the Lions have one of the top passing offenses in the NFL today. Therefore, expect the Lions to pass on Sunday, and pass a lot.
The Falcons have a not-so-great secondary, and considering the Matthew Stafford/Calvin Johnson dynamic relationship, the Lions should try to take advantage of this opportunity. I expect Stafford to at least attempt 35 passes.
It seems that Stafford's arm will determine whether the Lions can prove effective against a strong Falcons team.
Maurice Morris is somewhat of a poor man's Javhid Best. He is average at running between the tackles, but he can certainly run screen plays with Stafford all day long. This should be part of the Lions game plan, and if done effectively, the Lions can be successful on Sunday
Maurice Morris Can Be Relied Upon
When Javhid Best was injured late last season, Maurice Morris stepped in and played admirably. He did have a 100-yard rushing game last season when Best was sidelined for the entire year.
I'm not going to lie. Morris is no superstar, not even a star. But, he can be relied on to fill in for one or several games. Morris can run screen plays just as effectively as Best can, and is a solid blocking back for when Stafford drops back to throw.
Don't expect a huge game from Morris, but don't expect him to make any big mistakes or blunders either.
Ronnie Brown Is Washed Up
Is it really that hard to fathom? An average NFL running back averages only less than five years of service. Brown is in his seventh year of NFL service, and has only totaled a 1,000 yard season once in his career. When a running back loses his edge, he loses it forever.
You just wake up one day, and your body can no longer take the constant beating of an NFL running back. This may be the case for Ronnie Brown. His legs seem slower, and he doesn't seem as strong and electric as he once did for the Miami Dolphins. Therefore, you can't really expect a washed up back like Brown to be effective for any NFL team.