Coach Rob Chudzinski defended the Browns' decision to run Trent Richardson only five times in the second half of Sunday's 23-10 loss to the Dolphins

He netted only 14 yards and averaged 2.8 yards per carry after the break.

It was a dramatic departure from the opening drive when Richardson gashed the Dolphins for 26 yards on four carries and a 6.5-yard average including gains of 9 and 5 on the first two plays of the game.

"Through the course of the game Trent’s a critical part of our offense'' said Chudzinski. "We want to give him the ball as much as we can. I thought in the first half we had a pretty good mix going there even into the third quarter. We had a lot of two-minute situations yesterday one at the end of the half and obviously in the fourth quarter. The key is we have to convert on third down and we’ll get plenty more opportunities to get the ball to Trent as well."

All five of Richardson's second-half runs came in the third quarter when the Browns were either ahead or trailing by no more than six points. He rushed for eight yards on the opening play of the first half but was then knocked back for 3 yards held for no gain and rushed for 2. On his final carry of the third quarter he ran off left guard for 7 and that was it for the night.

He was put in cold storage for the fourth quarter and had no chance of coming out after the Dolphins extended their lead to 20-10 and 23-10.

"You can always second-guess everything when you don’t win'' said Chudzinski. "We had some things we liked. Some of them came up some didn’t quite as well. And they tightened up a little bit against the run when we got into the third quarter.''

The Browns also limited Richardson's chances on third down.

"We want to make sure that he stays fresh as well and that's part of the plan'' said Chudzinski.