The last 1,000 yard rusher the Cleveland Browns had was Peyton Hillis in 2010. Before that, it was Jamal Lewis in 2008. In 2012 and hopefully beyond, it’s Trent Richardson‘s turn.
Through six games this year, Richardson has rushed for 340 yards. The starting running back for the Browns has found pay dirt four times on the ground and one receiving. Now, I know 340 yards are not great but there are ten games to go and TRich needs 660 more yards to reach the well earned plateau. He must average 66 yards per game the rest of the way. One monster game can make that number go down further.
In today’s NFL, grinding out 63 yards per game seems like an easy task. This is not the case in the physical AFC North. Facing the Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, and Pittsburgh Steelers twice a year accounts for 38% of the Browns’ schedule. Add the run defenses of the Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, and Denver Broncos to the mix and that makes for some tough yards on the ground. However, the goal oriented Richardson will accomplish the feat.
With his 5’9″ and 230 pound frame, Richardson has become the hunter, not the hunted. Safety Kurt Coleman of the Eagles will attest to that. While running with the football TRich does his best impression of the controls of a PlayStation 3 controller, using circle button to spin, triangle button to hurdle, analog stick to juke, and the forever loving right hit stick to send defenders backwards.
What’s even more impressive about TRich’s skill set is his will to fight for those extra yards on every carry. On the majority of his runs, it takes two to three tacklers to bring him down. But perhaps Richardson’s greatest asset is his G force power to finish off runs, which all comes from his massive low center of gravity legs.
Yes, in his first year, the rookie from the Alabama Crimson Tide is definitely fun to watch. As long as he’s healthy, that monster game could be this week against the Indianapolis Colts. After Richardson gains his 1,000 yards or more by the end of the season, there must be strong consideration for the Rookie of the Year award. Until that time, let’s just watch him go to work.
Ryan Ruiz – Cleveland Browns Writer
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