The Indianapolis Colts acquired running back Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns last season, but were very disappointed with the production that they received from him. Some believe that coming over midway through the season and not having the time to get used to the system, but others point to his struggles with Cleveland in his rookie season. He has never been a big play type of running back, and has struggled with yards per carry throughout his entire NFL career.
So the question becomes, is there any chance that Richardson can turn things around this season? It certainly helps that he has had a full offseason of work with the team, and he is very confident that he will have a comeback year. He has had the ability to learn the system and figure out his teammates, and is simply too talented to continue struggling like he did last season.
Richardson played in 14 regular season games last year with the Colts, picking up 458 yards on 157 attempts and scoring three touchdowns. He recorded just a 2.9 yards per carry average, and that stat will have to improve this year for him to remain their starting running back. There is plenty of competition at the running back position for Richardson this year, with both Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard coming back from injuries.
One area of Richardson’s game that he did prove last year, was his ability to catch passes out of the backfield. Down the stretch of the season, the Colts started using him much more out of the backfield and found great success with him. He is able to get into the open field and make defenders miss, and also breaks a good amount of tackles when he gets into the secondary.
Overall, there are a lot of reasons to stay optimistic about Richardson this season. He has had the necessary time to learn the system and he has made it clear that he will bounce back. The Colts’ front office is still confident in his ability, and it will be very interesting to watch and see what happens this season.
Evan Massey is a Lead Editor for InkonIndy.com. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.