Colts GM raves about Trent Richardson

Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson walks off

Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson walks off the field after minicamp practice at the team's practice facility in Berea, Ohio. (June 5, 2013) (Credit: AP)

The blockbuster deal that sent Browns running back Trent Richardson to the Colts in exchange for Indy’s first-round pick in 2014 was the latest in a series of moves over the last two seasons by general manager Ryan Grigson, whose roster makeover turned the Colts into immediate playoff contenders last season.

Grigson went for broke in getting Richardson, the third overall pick in the 2012 draft, who now joins No. 1 overall pick Andrew Luck in the same backfield. It figures to be a dynamic combination for years to come.

“We have a commitment to win,” Grigson said, per the Indianapolis Star. “That goal is something we strive for, regardless of circumstances or anything that’s put in our path. That’s how we roll.”

Grigson spent plenty of time studying Richardson before last year’s draft, although there was no way they’d take him with the first pick. It was Luck all the way, and the young quarterback did an outstanding job taking over for Peyton Manning. Now that he has both players, he loves the possibilities.

“The thing about [Richardson] is he plays the game the way it’s meant to be played,” Grigson said. “He was born to run the football. He’s a powerful back, a back that can avoid tacklers or run over them. He can catch the ball. He adds an element on third down. He’s got a pretty broad skill set in a very compact 220-pound frame who happens to run a 4.48.”

Richardson was slowed by injuries last year and failed to crack the 1,000-yard barrier, but Grigson thinks his 3.5 yards per carry average has more to do with the way teams have played the Cleveland Browns than with any fundamental flaw in Richardson’s style.

“I know the numbers,” Grigson said. “But the yardage is there. You see it when you’re watching the film. Obviously if you have a guy that’s your main threat in the offense, that’s who defenses are going to key up. Trent isn’t even near his ceiling. We’re talking about the third pick in the draft and that’s not because he’s a ham-and-egger.”

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