The Indianapolis Colts claim they would still trade for Trent Richardson again despite the running back’s troubles since coming to Indianapolis. The former Cleveland Browns running back was almost invisible in the Thursday night matchup against the Tennessee Titans. He carried the football only eight times for 22 yards, a 2.8 yard-per-carry average. He had more of an impact in the passing game where he caught five passes for 31 yards. However, it was Richardson’s lack of use in crunch time in the fourth quarter that was especially telling. Those vital carries went to Donald Brown.
It might be a little early to label Richardson a bust but it is fairly obvious that the Browns might have gotten the better part of the deal. Since joining the Colts, Richardson has carried the football 88 times in seven games for 250 yards and two touchdowns. He is averaging less than three yards per carry with the Colts and seems relegated to be Donald Brown’s caddie at this point.
Richardson just does not look comfortable in the Colts’ offense. He pitter-patters up to the line, gets a yard or two and then is taken down. He doesn’t hit the hole with any authority and seems timid with the ball in his hands.
There is still a chance that Richardson can redeem himself and this trade for the Colts but the Browns look like the early winners in this deal. Since trading Richardson, the Browns’ offense hasn’t missed a beat and the Browns have gone on to win four games. Granted, they might have won those games if Richardson was there but with Richardson the pressure was there for the coaching staff to utilize Richardson as much as possible. Basically, the offense ran through Richardson. It took a lot of guts for Browns’ GM Mike Lombardi to trade the 2012 third overall pick but he did. He also got a first-round pick in return which gives the Browns 10 picks in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Browns are set up perfectly to resurrect their franchise. With Josh Gordon and Jordan Cameron in place they are the true building blocks. The NFL is not a running back’s league anymore. The NFL is a passing league now and Lombardi and company realize this. It is time to give them credit for having the guts and foresight to make this deal. Right now, the Browns will continue doing their thing and the Colts will continue to give the ball to Donald Brown.