When the Indianapolis Colts traded for Trent Richardson back in September, they paid a heavy price. The Colts sent a first round pick, eventually turning into the twenty-sixth pick over all, to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Richardson. The results have not produced numbers you would expect from the former third over all pick in the 2012 NFL draft.
In his rookie season in Cleveland, Richardson rushed for 950 yards on 267 carries in 15 games, averaging 3.6 yards per carry with 11 touchdowns. In 16 games this season (two with Cleveland, fourteen with Indianapolis), Richardson had only 188 carries for 563 yards, producing an average of 3.o yards per carry with 3 touchdowns.
Not the production they had hoped for.
With Richardson being traded after week 2, it was an obvious adjustment, having to learn a new team, playbook, blocking schemes and overall role. Former first round pick Donald Brown was able to snag carries away this season from Richardson, especially near the goal line, allowing Brown to double the touchdown production of Richardson, with six. Brown, an unrestricted free agent, will test the market and likely leave. Richardson will be relied upon even more to produce in the running game in 2014.
At 5’9 and 225 pounds, Richardson’s bruising running style reminds some to Marshawn Lynch. Like Richardson, Lynch was traded after just a few games in 2010 from the Buffalo Bills to the Seattle Seahawks. That year Lynch rushed for 573 yards on 165 carries with 6 touchdowns, numbers similar to Richardson. The following year, with a whole off season to learn the playbook, Beast Mode was born.
Is a similar situation in store for Richardson this season? The Colts should sure hope so.
Sports-Kings Down and Distance Contributor Chad Berntsen. @CB9911