Colts head coach Chuck Pagano understands the difficult transition running back Trent Richardson had to make last year. Traded from Cleveland prior to Week 3, Richardson was installed as the Colts' lead back even though he was learning the offense on the fly. It played a role in a very disappointing season for Richardson as he averaged just three yards per carry and less than 40 yards per game. He ended up losing his starting job late in the season to Donald Brown .
But a new season is upon every NFL team, and Pagano thinks this one will be a good one for Richardson.
"Coming in under the circumstances which he did would be tough on anybody," Pagano said of Richardson to USA Today. "Certainly having a year under his belt and a full offseason ... he's put the time in and has a better understanding of the offense. The expectations are what they are, and I think Trent expects probably more of Trent than anybody else.
"Fully expect him to have a great year."
Vick Ballard and Ahmad Bradshaw will push Richardson, but it's unlikely that they will pose a serious threat for the starting job if Richardson plays up to his talent. Ballard and Bradshaw are also coming off of season-ending injuries which required surgery -- Ballard tore an ACL prior to the season while Bradshaw couldn't play past Week 3 due to a neck injury.
I am a believer in T-Rich. Besides fully comprehending the playbook, he needs to run with more confidence and use his power to his benefit. He has the ability to add to his value by catching 40-50 passes. Perhaps a fifth-round ADP is too rich for some, but I'm buying Richardson at his current low-end RB2 spot.