Now, Richardson has four months to absorb the full scope of the Indianapolis offense as he approaches 2014.
“I’m too excited right now,” said Richardson Monday. “People don’t know how it feels to take (this) breath. Now, we’re all in at the same time. We all get to learn it (together).
“I get to learn it with my quarterback, with my line, with the head coach and offensive coordinator. I get to know what I need to know to be a complete player, not just coming in when I came in (last year) and going off the run.”
With an offense installed in April and honed since then, Richardson had to keep speed since his new team could not slow down.
Learning the offense as quickly as possible did not mean complete fluency, which he expects this year.
“I knew the playbook, but I didn’t learn the playbook,” said Richardson. “People don’t understand the circumstance between learning and knowing. Memorizing it is something else, but knowing the whole concept of the plays (was tough).
“We had over 200 different sets. It was difficult to learn it on the run without having an off-season with the team. I had learned two different playbooks in less than 18 months, then a third one. I pushed through and persevered and God blessed me a lot last year as far as knowing who my real (friends) were, what this team was about and what my faith was all about. It was a big blessing in disguise.”
“When you conceptually understand the offense, it makes everything so much easier,” said Thomas. “When you understand what everyone is doing, what all the calls mean, how the tackles, guards and center are going to block things, what the receiver are doing, it makes it 10 times better.
“You can’t expect someone to know everything when you don’t go through a full install. I’m pretty sure Trent didn’t know all the plays last year because some plays we installed we never ran. Some plays we did install popped up during the year, and he’d have to learn it before the game. It’s not easy.
“Sometimes people don’t understand that. It’s, ‘Give him the ball, he should be able to get five, six yards a clip.’ It doesn’t work like that.”
Richardson was dinged up physically along the way and says he feels fine as the conditioning program ensued Monday. An off-season with the club he plays with is what Richardson appreciates.
“It’s way different than last year. I didn’t have too long to be prepared, and I played on my fourth day being a Colt,” said Richardson. “I didn’t know the snap count until the third or fourth week. That’s how fast things were moving.
“Being the starter my second week, it was different. Of course, I wanted to start. It was my expectation but when you don’t know (the offense), it’s hard to take off and do everything.
“I should have done better and had more success. A lot that is going to change this year. It’s my goal to take it one day at a time and learn the concept of the play, know the team, what we’re built on and what we’re trying to be. It feels tremendous.”