#NFL running back Trent Richardson isn’t a Bust, yet

luck and richardsonWith all the focus on Andrew Luck and the up-and-down season of his Indianapolis Colts, much of the blame has shifted to Luck’s receiving corps and his primary running back Trent Richardson.

I have always like Trent and feel he will pull out of it. But I really like the take from ESPN.com‘s Mike Wells, who spoke to a scout Matt Williamson about Trent’s struggles. Some of the notable quotables from Well’s article:

Williamson expressed his hope for Trent’s production:

“First of all, when the trade happened I thought the Colts made a great move. I liked him out of Alabama and what he did as a rookie with the Cleveland Browns. Every defense was keying on him and he was able to be productive, especially as a receiver. I thought he was going to be — not Adrian Peterson — but I thought he would be a Pro Bowl back and was worth what I expected to be a late first-round pick. Of course it hasn’t worked out. I think there have been a lot of reasons. Some of it is bad luck, some of it is coaching. But a lot of it is on him.”

Why has Trent struggled?

“Just looking at him, I think he’s been tentative since he’s been here. I feel like he’s uncomfortable knowing when to hit the holes and what their scheme is. He’s lost mentally. It doesn’t mean he’s not smart. I think he’s not tuned in to exactly what they’re doing. It’s not natural for him, not knowing exactly where to go, thinking too much. That shouldn’t be a shock, though. He joined a new system in midseason. Running back is one of the hardest positions to learn. He hasn’t been through minicamp or training camp. He also deserves some blame, too. He isn’t running with that aggression. He doesn’t look like he has that burst that he had at Alabama or last year. He is tentative when there are holes there. He doesn’t attack them like he should.”

Also, Williamson went on to blame the terrible interior of their offensive line:

“I don’t think most people realize how bad the interior of that line is for the Colts. Those guards [Mike McGlynn and Hugh Thornton] are terrible. The interior of that offensive line, I think is as bad as any in the league. That’s hard to overcome when you’re an interior rusher. That’s impacting Trent quite a bit. The Colts don’t utilize his pass-catching ability very well. He is a very good receiver and even in space he can run over safeties and cornerbacks. It shocks me because he had 50-something catches last year.”

I feel Trent has a lot of good potential as a feature back on the Colts and I know the Colts front office feels the same way. But, he’s joined a new system midway through the season and it makes one tentative to hit the holes. Still, that tenacity comes from having bad offensive line play up front.

andrew luck sackedLuck has been hit and sacked a lot this season and that is because of his terrible offensive line. He has been sacked 29 times this season, while being sacked 41 times last season (per Pro Football Reference). That’s 70 times in two seasons!

I think I know what the Colts will do this offseason (HINT: shore up that porous line!).

Not all of the struggles fall on Trent Richardson, a good amount does, but a great running back as an equally-if-not-better offensive line in front of him.

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About Spencer Irvine

Fun loving, D.C. area sports fan, which means I'm frustrated and still can't get a grip on what a win truly means (or a championship for that matter).

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