Tuesday, August 31, 2004 - Bob Lung
Bob Lung breaks down the running back battle in Cleveland between Lee Suggs and William Green
Those of you fantasy owners, who have limited time in your life for preparation of your upcoming fantasy draft(s), I’ll post my answer now. Therefore, if you need to, you can move on to more important fantasy concerns.
THE WINNER IS: NO ONE!!!
Those of you who can stick around for the reasons, here’s why.
Green has more experience, but Suggs has more overall talent.
Willie Green proved for a short period of time that he could be a quality back in the NFL. However, that was two seasons and one wacko, backstabbing girlfriend ago! Willie was just another member of the 2003 Browns’ train wreck. He is supposed to be rejuvenated and other clichés for this upcoming season. Lee Suggs startled the fantasy world with his huge game at the end of last season. He does have more talent and anyone in football will tell you this. But, Green is Butch Davis’ prodigy and will give him every opportunity to be a factor in the running game along with the talented, yet inexperienced Suggs.
They have performed almost even this preseason.
Suggs’ stats through the first three preseason games were 15 carries for 118 yards (7.87 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. Green’s stats were 12 carries for 100 yards (8.33 yards per carry) and zero touchdowns. Other than the touchdowns, these two are almost identical. Both have had some big runs and both have struggled at times.
Butch Davis and his MiniMe, his Ego!
PLEASE TAKE NOTE HERE, FOLKS! This is the primary reason that NONE of these backs will outperform the other, unless one gets injured. Butch Davis’ job is on the line. He will try anything and everything to win, in order to keep his job. Therefore, just because he starts Suggs or Green in one game, doesn’t necessarily mean that he will start them the next. He will ride the “hot foot” game in and game out. Even if you draft both players, you would have to start them both because you never know who will have the big game.
So, there will be no clear-cut winner unless one is injured. Davis will use them as a duo, which is probably not a bad idea for the Cleveland Browns as a team, but not a good idea for fantasy owners. Is it possible BOTH could be 1,000-yard running backs like the Ernest Byner and Kevin Mack of years past? I doubt it. The offensive line has downgraded from last season and I can’t imagine they can scare anyone this season.
Remember, the great stats this preseason came against Detroit and Kansas City, who defensively ranked 25th and 29th respectively last season. Against the Titans, they combined for only 47 yards.
My advice is stay far away from the Browns’ offense in 2004. The only positive I see there is rookie tight end, Kellen Winslow Jr. The only problem with him is he’ll either win Rookie of the Year or he’ll be suspended for cheap-shoting a referee. But, at running back, the battle between Suggs and Green is a stalemate for now and easily could be all season