Only one game remains in the 2004 season, and interim coach Terry Robiskie probably won't be around for 2005, but if he is retained as a head coach or offensive assistant he is making it clear he is willing to put all his faith in running back Lee Suggs.
Suggs carried the ball 38 times against the Miami Dolphins last week. No Browns back ever carried more in one game. Jim Brown held the team record for carries in a game until Sunday night. He carried 37 times in game against the Chicago Cardinals Oct. 4, 1959.
Suggs could get as many as 35 carries against the Texans Sunday if the score stays close or the Browns are ahead, Robiskie said. If Suggs breaks 100 yards for the third straight time, it will mark the first time a Browns back has done so since Greg Pruitt did it three times in December of 1978.
Part of the reason Robiskie is counting on Suggs is because of uncertainty at quarterback. Rookie Luke McCown is 0-4 as a starter. He is likely to be on the sideline in Houston watching veteran quarterback Kelly Holcomb. Holcomb has not played since Nov. 28 when three ribs were fractured.
"Obviously, a lot of it has to do with Lee's ability," Robiskie said. "He has that extra vision, that extra cut, that extra eye. You don't have to block them all. He has that ability that if a safety is in the box or in the hole to make that guy miss. He also has a very good feel for his backside pursuit. It speaks volumes about him."
Good news for Suggs is bad news for William Green, the Browns' first pick in the 2002 draft. Green did not play last week and he does not expect to play against the Texans - not if he can't give Suggs a breather while Suggs is getting 38 carries.
"I would hope that it says to William that Lee Suggs is playing pretty good," Robiskie said. "That doesn't mean we don't like William. William Green is part of the Cleveland Browns. He is part of what we're doing and what we're trying to get done.