Trent Richardson: “I want to be one of the best running backs when it comes to the end of the season”July 6, 2012 – 9:45 am by Chris Fedor
During the NFL Draft, the Browns realized after missing out on a trade for Robert Griffin III about a month earlier, that they couldn’t afford to miss out on Alabama running back Trent Richardson. So Cleveland sacrificed a few picks to move up just one spot in a swap with Minnesota to solidify their backfield and give their lifeless offense a huge boost. For more than a decade the Browns have been one of the punch lines in the NFL and the offense has rarely looked NFL caliber. Even though Richardson plays a position that has been devalued recently, thanks to an aggressive approach in the draft, the Browns have a new face of the franchise with Richardson and given his talent, it may not be long before Cleveland also has one of the best running backs in the NFL and the franchise returns to relevance.
Trent Richardson joined ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland with the Hooligans to talk about how mini-camp went for him, what he has learned about Cleveland that he didn’t know before he was drafted, if he recognizes the kind of pressure on him after being a top five pick and going to a downtrodden franchise and if he is frustrated with the business side of football and his contract not being done.
How minicamp went for him:
“Minicamp was really good. I was so excited being out there and for me to be able to go to a new team and earn everybody’s respect. It was an opportunity I had to go out there and just be myself and show them that I’m here to work and I’m doing whatever it takes to be on this team, be their starter, be the guy that you all look to and be like hey we can really use this guy and really trust in him. It was a lot of fun out there meeting everybody.”
What he has learned about Cleveland that he didn’t know before he was drafted:
“Really for me it’s that they are hungry. They are committed to all of their athletes and they love football. Everybody knows that they had the great basketball player but I’ve really found out from some of the basketball players, Kyrie (Irving) and Tristan (Thompson), that Cleveland is really a football state. Cleveland Browns fans are behind their football players as much as they can be. We’re going to be behind them 100 percent this year. We want to put Cleveland on our shoulders this year and take it to the top. That’s how we’re working this year and that’s what Cleveland deserves.”
If he recognizes how much pressure is on him being a top five pick and going to a downtrodden franchise:
“Oh yeah I recognize it. I don’t think it’s pressure. For me it’s another opportunity to show that I’m that guy that they did go up from four to three and one of the reasons that they did come to get me in the first round, one of the reasons they did take a rookie running back in the top ten. I want to be the guy that the decision makers are talking about the top running backs. One of my goals is I want to be the best, one of the best running backs in the game when it comes to the end of the season. I always have big shoes to fill. I’ve always had big shoes to fill. I played behind Mark Ingram. He was the Heisman Trophy winner so I had to go out there and prove I could do as good as him and I’m not saying I did it all by myself but my work ethic and my teammates helped me with it.”
How frustrating it is for him to not have his contract done yet:
“I really haven’t had too much stress about it because no matter what I’m still going to get out there and play. I know some people wouldn’t be out here in minicamp or whatever but football players need to be working no matter what. At a point in time you play the game because you love the game and for me I’m out there because I love the game of football. I want to be the best one to ever play the sport of football. That’s just me being me. Me being frustrated? No it’s not frustrating to me because I’m going to let my agents do what they do and I have some of the best agents out there. When Jimmy (Sexton) gets done with all this stuff and tells me what the final call on it is I’m going to be prepared for it. Whenever it’s done, I’m down with it but right now I’m still working no matter what.”