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  1. #1
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    A depressing read on Trent Richardson

    Richardsonís Rookie Year


    In grain is where Richardson appeared to be running in 2012. Adrian Peterson set the single-game rushing record as a rookie. T-Rich? He set the single-season nicks-and-bruises record. A meaty ó perhaps fatty ó 5-foot-11, 236ish pounds, Richardson accrued nearly as many injuries as touchdowns, managing just 3.55 yards per carry before he was mercifully shut down for Week 17 with an ankle issue. His 702 snaps were ninth amongst running backs, but his 3.55 YPC was 40th.


    It was a hugely disappointing season, but thatís all it was: One disappointing year. Richardson was hardly the first player to underwhelm as a rookie, and he wouldnít be the last. This wasnít a talent you give up on after only one season. Unless youíre the Browns.


    Don't forget, for the latest on everything NFL, check out Rotoworld's Player News, or follow @Rotoworld_FB or @RotoPat on Twitter.


    What Went Wrong


    Technically, the Browns didnít give up on Richardson after only one year. It was one year and two games. But two games was all the new ó and now former ó regime needed to see out of Mike Holmgrenís franchise runner. Mike Lombardi and Joe Banner decided theyíd rather watch Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell attempt a league-leading 681 passes than watch Richardson at all.


    So off to the Colts he went for a first-rounder, making Richardson not only the rare running back selected within the first three picks, but the even rarer runner to be acquired for a first-round pick. Rarest of all is a back whoís been a first-rounder twice over. Thatís what Richardson will officially become when the Browns cash in the Coltsí No. 26 pick in May. Compare that to the sixth-rounder the Redskins spent on Alfred Morris, or the pick the Texans didnít use on undrafted free agent Arian Foster.


    What did the Coltsí first-round investment turn into? Abraham Lincolns on the George Washington, and vindication for Banner and Lombardi. You already know the story. Richardson was arguably the worst running back in the league, averaging 2.91 yards per carry as a Colt. Only Bernard Pierce and Willis McGahee were worse. Pierce was a backup running behind perhaps the leagueís worst run-blocking line. McGahee, a 32-year-old spare part who was signed off the street.


    Richardsonís longest run of the season went for 22 yards. It was his lone carry to gain more than 20. Richardson averaged nearly half as many yards per carry as league-leader Andre Ellington. A sixth-round rookie, Ellington managed 5.53 yards every time he took the rock.


    Richardson had 188 carries. 101 of them went for two or fewer yards. Thatís 53.7 percent. 41 of Richardsonís rushes were stopped for a loss or no gain (21.8 percent). Richardson was 23rd in carries, 36th in yards. He scored three rushing touchdowns. Redskins FB Darrel Young scored three rushing touchdowns in one game.


    In the postseason, the Colts ďtrustedĒ Richardson with four carries in two games. He responded with as many yards ó one ó as lost fumbles. Theyíre staggering numbers in a league where the average rush gained 4.16 yards in 2013. Theyíre even more staggering when you consider Richardsonís draft pedigree, and what the Colts surrendered to acquire him.
    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nf...ichardson?pg=1

    On Film


    Richardsonís first three carries of the season went for nine, five and 10 yards. Those three totes would end up accounting for 6.04 percent of T-Richís rushing yardage. Only nine more times all year would he bust a run of at least nine yards.


    On film, it was easy to see why. For starters, the Colts were not a good run-blocking team. Richardsonís interior linemen allowed penetration early and often. But you know who else wasnít a good run-blocking team? The Seattle Seahawks. Ask Marshawn Lynch if you can still have success behind a bad line. It was Lynch who many ó including this website ó said Richardson needed to start emulating if he was to shake his slow start.


    But it was not Lynch who Richardson channeled as the year wore on. It wasnít even a football player that T-Rich most resembled. The No. 3 overall pick of the 2012 draft ran like a semi-truck, and not one that accelerated particularly quickly.


    Richardson can still get a good head of steam once heís warmed up. In the open field, he remains fast for his size, and extremely hard to take down. But he almost never made it into the open field. Thatís because, like a semi, Richardsonís top half caught too much wind as he gained speed. His bottom half seemed weighed down by the top, making him as stiff and rigid as an 18-wheeler. A Toyota Camry can weave in and out of traffic with impunity. Semis like Richardson canít move side-to-side without 3-4 seconds to gain speed and warn other drivers.


    Richardson wasnít just slow as he attempted to go from 0-60, but mind-bogglingly hesitant. There were times when Richardson would get the ball and literally stop moving. He ran like a player who didnít think about where he might be going before the football was safely stuffed into his gut. By the time Richardson had decided on his next move, the defense was swarming like starved hyenas. Although the full stops were (relatively) rare, even rarer were the times where T-Rich saw the hole and hit the hole. Instead of using his force to impose his will, he chopped his steps as he pondered. Richardson seemed to put so much planning into every step that you could practically see the gears turning in his head. That might work when you have five All Americans clearing lanes for you at Alabama, but in the NFL it gets you hit before you can even cross the line of scrimmage.


    Things were even worse when the Colts tried to bounce Richardson outside. Every single T-Rich outside run took the form of the same shape: A half circle. Richardson would get the ball at Point A, make a 180-degree loop and get tackled at Point B, which was always on the same plane as Point A. Heíd run five yards, but gain zero.


    The few times T-Rich did find a hole or get around the edge? Heíd flash his speed, but not his moves. Thatís because itís unclear if Richardson has any moves. Some runners spend all their time trying to shake and bake, often to their detriment. Richardson does no such thing, but it didnít appear to be a conscious decision in 2013. It looked like the limitations of a man who may not be the athlete we thought he was. Richardson has enough bulk and speed that this wouldnít necessarily be an issue if he could get beyond the first level of the defense at a league-average rate. But as we laid out above ó 53.7 percent of Richardsonís runs went for two yards or fewer ó he did not get beyond the first level of the defense at a league-average rate last season. Whether it was his blocking or his brain that was the culprit, T-Rich looked nothing like a franchise runner on film, but a fullback with long speed.


    What Could Still Go Right


    No player is a lost cause after just two seasons and 455 career carries. Richardson will still be only 23 years old in 2014. The recent NFL landscape has seen plenty of late-blooming runners. Lynch, Ryan Mathews, Cedric Benson, Fred Jackson, Knowshon Moreno.


    The Colts also remain committed to their run-heavy scheme and its supposed No. 1 back. Coach Chuck Pagano wants OC Pep Hamilton to run the ball like heís still at Stanford. With each of Donald Brown (free agent), Ahmad Bradshaw (neck, free agent) and Vick Ballardís (knee) status still uncertain, T-Rich remains the best ó and most expensive ó bet the Colts have on their roster.


    But despite Richardsonís seemingly plum place on the depth chart and the Coltsí public votes of confidence, heís going to be a on a chihuahua-length leash in 2014. T-Rich has admitted he never really got a feel for the Coltsí offense following his mid-season trade. Finding one will be Priority No. 1 this offseason. Not far behind will be losing weight and gaining confidence.


    T-Rich entered Week 1 claiming he was down 12 pounds from his 2012 weight of 236-237, but that certainly didnít appear to be the case on film. You could see Richardsonís girth shifting as the gears grinded in his head. In theory, gaining a more nuanced understanding of Hamiltonís system while shedding LBs will do wonders for Issue No. 3, Richardsonís confidence.


    But even if Richardson does all the right things, thereís no guarantee heíll ďbounce back.Ē Thatís because Richardson doesnít even have a good NFL form to bounce back to. He needs to rediscover the quick-twitch athleticism that hasnít been evident since his days with the Crimson Tide. Richardson has the opportunity to right the wrongs of his 2012-13, but his futures market still calls for light trading.


    Our Best Guess For 2014


    Forecasting positive things for Richardsonís future requires not only faith, but a leap of it. 31 games of NFL film have provided no more than one or two nails to hang a hat on. There is his role. The Colts donít just want Richardson to succeed, they need him to succeed. He was more expensive than a Mars rover, and as of now, has no clear challenger to his depth-chart supremacy.


    Thereís also the faint glimmers of hope his film provides. This is still a fast man whoís hard to take down once heís out of the gates. If Richardson could shed even half his tentativeness at the line of scrimmage, heís not a player whoís going to be getting stopped for a loss every fifth carry. Richardson is inarguably one of the most over-drafted players of the past decade, but the reasons he went No. 3 overall havenít all been undone in less than 23 months.


    Are these exciting reasons to Vote Richardson in 2014? Not exactly. But if youíve made it this far in your Dynasty league, the time to sell low was three months ago. Richardson is positioned to be one of the biggest busts in recent memory, but the car is still only at the edge of the cliff. Thereís still time for him to throw it into reverse. If that sounds like a hedge, itís because it is. The odds are low that Richardson emerges as an above-average back, let alone the back the Browns thought they were getting. But theyíre not nonexistent, and that counts for something when youíre a 23-year-old former No. 3 overall pick.
    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nf...ichardson?pg=2

    Extraordinary article by Patrick Daugherty. I think he makes a really good case that Trent Richardson's career is in deep trouble.

    That trade may have set this franchise back a couple years.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants1213 View Post
    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nf...ichardson?pg=1



    http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/nf...ichardson?pg=2

    Extraordinary article by Patrick Daugherty. I think he makes a really good case that Trent Richardson's career is in deep trouble.

    That trade may have set this franchise back a couple years.
    like with the walden,post, sorry, but completely disagree.

    Where's his analysis of how often Richardson was met in the backfield by multiple defenders? Because from my actually WATCHING him,play. It appeared to be something like 50 percent of the time at least.

    But the article is a great hatchet job, I will say that, lol

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVicster View Post
    like with the walden,post, sorry, but completely disagree.

    Where's his analysis of how often Richardson was met in the backfield by multiple defenders? Because from my actually WATCHING him,play. It appeared to be something like 50 percent of the time at least.

    But the article is a great hatchet job, I will say that, lol
    I'm wondering how much of it was Richardson's hesitance versus the Colts Offensive line giving him no chance.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiants1213 View Post
    I'm wondering how much of it was Richardson's hesitance versus the Colts Offensive line giving him no chance.
    Nah man I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about two and three guys being 2 yards deep in the backfield when Richardson was getting the ball. Come on man, you know what I'm talking about. You can't argue how terrible the Colts line was and in the next thread claim its richardsons faultnhenhad no running room

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVicster View Post
    like with the walden,post, sorry, but completely disagree.

    Where's his analysis of how often Richardson was met in the backfield by multiple defenders? Because from my actually WATCHING him,play. It appeared to be something like 50 percent of the time at least.

    But the article is a great hatchet job, I will say that, lol
    Very true! Btw, I haven't heard that term in awhile and it fits!

    I saw a hesitant runner with little to no holes to run through, often being met in the back field by multiple defenders...like Vic said. Fix the O'line and stop telegraphing his runs and then let's see?
    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?

  6. #6
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    It was so obvious what was going to happen as soon as T-Rich walked on the field. Pep showed no creativity with him and thrust him up the middle every single time. There was about 10 times Richardson looked good and about 8 of them were receptions out of the backfield. I still think TRich has a ceiling of Marshawn Lynch, and if he is going to get there he better come into camp rock solid and there will be no more excuses. He is still better than any of the backs in this draft class.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVicster View Post
    like with the walden,post, sorry, but completely disagree.

    Where's his analysis of how often Richardson was met in the backfield by multiple defenders? Because from my actually WATCHING him,play. It appeared to be something like 50 percent of the time at least.

    But the article is a great hatchet job, I will say that, lol
    Completely agree on this. At one point I remember seeing someone writing about how TRich was in the top 5 in broken tackles, I admit I can't find this and really don't have a good place to find this stat, but seeing it didn't surprise me at the time. Sadly those broken tackles turned 2 yard losses into 1 yard gains. People want to talk about his hesitation...hell he had to hesitate to count the people in the backfield when he got the ball.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthollabak View Post
    Completely agree on this. At one point I remember seeing someone writing about how TRich was in the top 5 in broken tackles, I admit I can't find this and really don't have a good place to find this stat, but seeing it didn't surprise me at the time. Sadly those broken tackles turned 2 yard losses into 1 yard gains. People want to talk about his hesitation...hell he had to hesitate to count the people in the backfield when he got the ball.
    Yes, I had posted he looked "hesitant" earlier but should have clarified better....he had no where to run most times. It would make anyone look hesitant .....his first few games he ran right to the hole that was called and plowed into his own man more times than not as there was no hole there. Then he didn't even have that luxury later in the season as he was dodging defenders as soon as he touched the ball....and breaking quite a few tackles!

    Pondering Pluto brought up a great point in how his best runs where after screens and shovel passes as he had some room to maneuver....give him better blocking and then we should see the player we traded for, hopefully?!
    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyld1 View Post
    Yes, I had posted he looked "hesitant" earlier but should have clarified better....he had no where to run most times. It would make anyone look hesitant .....his first few games he ran right to the hole that was called and plowed into his own man more times than not as there was no hole there. Then he didn't even have that luxury later in the season as he was dodging defenders as soon as he touched the ball....and breaking quite a few tackles!

    Pondering Pluto brought up a great point in how his best runs where after screens and shovel passes as he had some room to maneuver....give him better blocking and then we should see the player we traded for, hopefully?!
    HAHA I didn't even see your comment when I posted that, so I hope you don't think my comment was directed at you. I just heard all season from quite a few places on how he looked hesitant instead of just hitting holes and people would try and say that was why DB31 was doing well.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthollabak View Post
    HAHA I didn't even see your comment when I posted that, so I hope you don't think my comment was directed at you. I just heard all season from quite a few places on how he looked hesitant instead of just hitting holes and people would try and say that was why DB31 was doing well.
    I didn't, but it made me re-think how I worded it and I realized it needed further clarification.
    If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheVicster View Post
    Nah man I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about two and three guys being 2 yards deep in the backfield when Richardson was getting the ball. Come on man, you know what I'm talking about. You can't argue how terrible the Colts line was and in the next thread claim its richardsons faultnhenhad no running room
    Probably not very often. Also, I can safely say that both parties (Trich/Oline) were at fault for Trent's terrible YPC.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

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    T-Rich will rush for 1,000 yards next year. (I hope)

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldStyleCubbies View Post
    T-Rich will rush for 1,000 yards next year. (I hope)
    If we can get 1000 yards from TRich and 600 from Vick Ballard we might end up with one of the best backfields in the league

  14. #14
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    If Trent rushed for 1000 yards that would only mean Grigson succeeded in getting a very good offensive line. As of now, he has 2 great tackles, but interior is crap.
    So Anna, what do you think about the notion that Russell Wilson is better than Andrew Luck?

    <3
    "[He's] a really complete player... There's not really any weaknesses to his game." - Bill Belichick on Andrew Luck
    "Luck has the most diverse skill set of any NFL quarterback" - Ron Jaworski on Andrew Luck being a top 5 QB

  15. #15
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    God it from a guy in the league that IND wants to "change that kid's body."

    I assume that means lighten him up and hopefully gain some quickness and then also get the idea to make quick decisions and not stutter in holes without making a decision.

    I said "So like the inverted Reggie Bush project" and he said exactly.

    Take it FWIW. Guy doesn't work for IND.

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