BEREA, Ohio - Thursday night's preseason opener is big for the Cleveland Browns because it's the home "game" debut for a new owner, a new staff, a bunch of new players and a new product all involved hope is on its way to NFL relevance.
One step at a time. But an early preseason cameo is more a necessary evil than any kind of real step, and with the Browns needing second-year running back Trent Richardson to be at the forefront of many impending steps, there's no reason to do anything with Richardson on Thursday night vs. the Rams than keep him on the sideline.
Richardson has been a little bit banged up, plays a violent style of football and plays full speed, all of the time. There's no need for him to be put in a spot to take on some second-string linebacker from Abilene Christian in early to mid-August, even if that's linebacker that will actually get the worst of the meeting.
Preseason football is generally a bad product. At best, it's an opportunity for coaches to fine-tune comm...