The Indianapolis Colts acquired running back Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns last season, and were expecting him to become the franchise running back that they wanted to pair with Andrew Luck. Unfortunately, he has done everything but prove himself as that franchise back since being acquired. He has consistently been unable to pick up solid yardage, and hasn’t shown much improvement if any.
Ryan Grigson made some comments about Richardson’s play and expectations recently.
“Trent, he needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability. We’re all accountable here. I will say this, there are a lot of backs last year that wouldn’t have got [2.4] considering the amount of people he had in that box and the amount of bodies that were hitting him before he even seemed to get the ball sometimes. He’s such a hard runner, we know how tough he is, but he’s got to produce just like all these guys do on this final 53.”
There’s no doubt that the Colts are still confident that he will figure things out, but the nervousness is beginning to creep in on the front office and coaching staff. Part of the issue has been the poor play by the offensive line, but Richardson has to figure out ways to pick up yards here and there. Donald Brown was able to outperform him in a big way last season, and that is definitely an issue.
It is expected that the Colts will give Richardson every chance to prove himself in the early stages of the season, but that Ahmad Bradshaw will be ready to replace him if he can’t get things going. Richardson is in a make or break season with the Colts, and he has to find a way to come through and deliver. He has the potential to be a very good starting NFL running back, but he has to figure things out with the Colts’ system.
Overall, it will be very interesting to see how things turn out in the running game this season. The Colts gave up a first round pick for Richardson, and as of right now they are looking very foolish for doing so. Hopefully Richardson can prove them right this season and get back on track, but if not, the Colts won’t waste time in giving other players a chance at the position.