In re-watching the 2011 season, it was really frustrating to see so many creases in the defense that our RBs never saw because they were impatient or simply couldn’t get to the hole because they had no burst. The timing of the running game may get better in general this year because the offseason will allow the lineman and RB to get a better feel for each other, but timing and vision is only half the battle. If a RB doesn’t combine that timing with a quality burst that is good enough to get through the first level of defenders the running game will never be more than a few yards at a time outfit.
The promising thing I saw on film as I watched the season was the ability of our offensive lineman to create an initial crease. Other than the departed Tony Pashos they were all athletic enough to get into the way of LBs. There were more than a few plays that would have gone for big yards if there was a RB in the backfield who could capitalize on the space that was created by solid (not great) blocking. Even if the Browns don’t find a back with multiple gears they definitely need one that can get from zero to 60 really quick.
IOW, the holes were there but the backs either didn't see them or didn't have the burst to get through them. Hence the urgency to draft TR. Well, now we have a back who can "get from zero to 60 really quick". I'm ready for some of those big yardage rushing plays that have been so rare STR with strictly between-the-tackles rushers like Droughns, Jamal Lewis, William Green, and Hillis as the featured backs.
The same rationale was used to draft Weeden. As Shurmer said, a better QB will make the receivers better. IOW, these guys were open but McCoy wasn't getting them the ball.