August 1, 2014

Is this Trent Richardson’s last chance to prove he’s not a bust?

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This season marks Trent Richardson’s last chance to claim he isn’t an NFL draft bust. While many consider him an unmitigated bust already (“Two yards per carry!”), he’s still a physical specimen that will make just about any coaching staff think they can work with him. And there are some mitigating factors for his struggles including being traded in the middle of the season a year ago, but this year with a full off-season with the Indianapolis Colts, if T-Rich is unable to finally put it together, it’s hard to imagine there will be many in the league who will hold out hope. For Richardson’s part, he’s always sounded like a willing, coachable player.

“I’m learning a lot, as much as I’ve learned in this last week, [it's] much more than I learned last year,” Richardson said, via the Colts’ website. “The off-season is very important because you have a chance to vibe with your team, to build that respect, to build that trust and then to build that team chemistry with your offensive line, with your quarterback. Knowing the concept of a play is the biggest thing because when it comes down to it, if you just remember what you’re doing, that’s not good enough. I remembered the playbook last year. I know it now. I’m learning a lot this year.”

In a lot of ways I’ll always hope Richardson can prove he’s better than what he showed in his second year in the league. Despite his struggles and my hindsight happiness that the Browns have a first-round draft pick in their arsenal this year, it doesn’t have anything to do with disliking Trent Richardson. Richardson seems to work really hard and strives to be an elite player on the field. That’s really about as much as any fan can ask of any player.

So if he doesn’t reach that goal, even as he looks to attain it in a Colts uniform, my feelings will always be more of sympathy than anything else. I rooted hard for Richardson when he was a member of the Cleveland Browns, and he never did anything to make me root any less for him other than get traded. It wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if the Browns and Colts both “won” that trade.

I’m hoping that off-season education translates for Trent Richardson. His status as an NFL draft bust depends on it.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    It would seem like he’s in a perfect system playing alongside a very good young QB in Luck time to produce for T-Rich.

  • mgbode

    hard to say he isn’t a draft bust when any success he could even have would not be for the team that drafted him. he busted for the Browns.

    now, he could double-it-up by being a trade bust for the Colts or he could reclaim his career. that’s on him now and we don’t have to worry about it.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ Scott @ WFNY

    I hope he succeeds as well, but I viewed that quote through a much different prism.
    I see a guy who was acquired on Week 3 and didn’t bother to learn anything about the offense he was being paid to help run. I know a lot is gained in preseason, but man…

  • JHop

    Compound that with the fact that Donald Brown’s skipped town in free agency and Ahmad Bradshaw continues to have major red flags for his health, no reason T-Rich shouldn’t be able to rebound.

  • BenRM

    My biggest beef with TRich was that only very rarely did you see glimpses of “oh he’s good!” And even then, those glimpses were only “he’s good” not “holy crap he’s awesome.” Even Greg Little will occasionally do things that could be considered special.

    In 31 games, he’s completely failed the eye-test. Also the stat-test. Also the effective NFL player test.

  • maxfnmloans

    Look like Tarzan, play like Jane

  • saggy

    NO. he is already a bust.

  • MrCleaveland

    Sort of related:

    I saw “Draft Day” yesterday. As the final credits rolled, I wept unashamedly with pride and joy.

  • Return of the (Alex) Mack

    I hope he has a 1,200 yard 10 TD type of season

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    He’ll certainly have the opportunity lets see what he does with it.

  • mgbode
  • saggy

    yes there is a reason – he stinks.

  • CB Everett

    Watch the guy on the far left flinch. Not your turn to flop yet buddy. Wait for your cue.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    agreed. it has that flavor of no-sense-of-urgency that is fatally misplaced.

    ‘i’m learning a lot.’
    pfft. here i’ll boil it down for you: see hole, hit hole.

    how long does that take to learn? no seriously trent, the dancing bear thing is why you’re a bust. learn less; do more.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Maybe I’m ignorant, but I find the whole not understanding the playbook argument to be the laziest, most overused excuse in the NFL (honorable mention to “a full offseason to work together”). The only players that I think can even remotely claim that reason for their shortcomings are QBs, and maybe TEs (when to stay home and block, who to block, variable routes to run, etc).

    If anyone’s playbook is as simple as it could be, wouldnt it be a RB’s? Run left, hit this gap. Run right, follow the tackle. Sit in the backfield and after 3 seconds, move out for a screen pass.

    Its a frustrating excuse, and Browns fans have heard them all.

  • Guest

    and on game day this.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    and on game day, this.

  • humboldt

    I cried several times during the film and I am not afraid to admit it! (behind an anonymous internet moniker, of course ;) ).

    Have we had a WFNY roundtable discussion with our reactions to Draft Day? I may have missed it, but if not, make it happen editors!

  • MrCleaveland

    In fairness, TR did knock that Eagles DB halfway into next week in his first game for us. Sadly, it’s been all uphill from there.

    If I had the gift of gif, I’d gif it to you.

  • Harv 21

    exactly. The RB has less to learn than any position on the field with the possible exception of the return men. There’s nothing in the playbook about picking the hole and exerting your will. I like the kid and kinda hope his Alabama years beat him down and his body is sufficiently recovered to run decisively. But I remember watching his Alabama videos and wondering if his downhill running would translate without linemen first blowing such wide open holes for him.

  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    please note that the NFL made this type of run illegal as a consequence. RBs no longer may lower their heads as battering rams as he did there.

  • MrCleaveland

    Will the Richardson Rule be his only legacy?

    Also, look how Coleman stays with the play and still tries to bring him down. Pretty impressive for having his bell rung with a backhoe.

  • mgbode

    if we draft a HOF at #26, then his other legacy would be Colt fans remembering they gave that player up for him.

    so yeah, likely just the Richardson Rule.

  • Bob

    Is it September yet?