The Indianapolis Colts acquired Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns last season in what many thought would be a steal of a trade for the Colts. Indianapolis had run into some issues due to injury concerns, and they were hopeful that Richardson would become the franchise running back that they could build with alongside of Andrew Luck. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned in Richardson’s first season with the Colts.
He played in 14 games last season with the Colts, carrying the football 188 times for 563 yards and three touchdowns. Those numbers were huge disappointments for the Colts, but they are still confident that they made the right choice in acquiring Richardson. The Colts plan to head into the 2014 season with Richardson listed as their number one running back, but they are more than open to Vick Ballard or Ahmad Bradshaw to start if they are able to beat him out.
So what are the expectations for Richardson in 2014? Quite frankly, there aren’t many Colts fans that believe in his ability to have a breakout season and prove Grigson and the Colts’ front office right on this move. That being said, there are some factors to take into consideration when thinking about his down season this past year with the Colts.
First and foremost, the Colts acquired him after the season had already begun. Any player would struggle with the task of switching teams, schemes, and playbooks after the season had already begun. He is going to have a full offseason of work with the Colts and will be brought along by the coaching staff and prepared to be the feature back that they envisioned him being.
The Colts’ offensive line was poor to say the very least last season as far as blocking the run goes. He had a poor yards per carry average in Cleveland two years ago, and it was bad once again this past year at 2.9 yards per carry. His ability to catch passes and make plays out of the backfield was noticed later on in the season as well.
If the Colts are able to bring him along smoothly this offseason, it is very possible that he is able to break out next year. The expectations are going to stay low, but the Colts are very excited about the potentialities of the upcoming season. It will be very interesting to see how offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton uses Richardson in 2014, and what changes they make to their offense to tailor it to Richardson’s strengths.