Jim Brown: Not as many great running backs in today's NFL

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The Hall of Famer Jim Brown retired from professional football in 1965. (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Jim Brown (John Lamparski/Getty Images)

One of the greatest running backs in NFL history believes there aren't many of his kind left in today's game.

Jim Brown rushed for 12,312 yards and 106 touchdowns in his nine-year career with the Browns. He also had 2,499 receiving yards and 20 receiving touchdowns.

Now 78 years old, Brown said if he were in his prime, offensive coordinators would tailor their offenses around him, rather than the passing game.

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“I know things change, but I believe if I were playing the game today, I would still get the ball as much as I did all those years ago,” Brown told Tom Reed of the Northeast Ohio Media Group on Friday.

Brown believes running backs worthy of heavy carry loads still get them. There just aren't many above-average backs in the league anymore, in his opinion.

“Who are the running backs who aren’t getting the ball today who should be? Adrian Peterson isn’t running by committee. Nobody is going to tell me Marshawn Lynch can’t run. He’s strong as an ox. I don’t have the answers, but it doesn’t bother me. I don’t measure things by the average, which I know writers would have to look at things the way they have to, but I don’t have to.

"I’m looking at the exceptions to the rule, not the rule . . . As we sit here, I can’t name seven great runners. Can you?"

Brown averaged 20 carries and 104.3 yards per game in his career. Peterson has averaged 19.7 carries and 98.2 yards per game in his seven-year career, while Lynch has averaged 16.9 carries and 71 yards per game in his seven seasons.

Brown did say every era only has about three or four "great" backs.

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