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Is Trent Richardson Following Similar Career Path to Marshawn Lynch?

Intro: Trent Richardson is in rare company when it comes to former top-15 picks that have been traded just a few years into their NFL careers. What does Richardson have in common with fellow “tradee” and Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch?


INDIANAPOLIS – Trades in the NFL involving first round draft picks are a rare commodity.

Narrow that pool down to trades involving guys picked in the top 15 of a draft, while having the move occurring during the regular season, and that sample size is miniscule.

Trent Richardson isn't alone in this group.

In 2010, then Bills running back Marshawn Lynch (the 12th pick in the 2007 NFL Draft) was traded on Oct. 5 to the Seattle Seahawks.

Lynch had a pair of 1,000-yard seasons in his first three years with Buffalo but he was shipped cross-country after just a month into the 2010 campaign.

Today, Lynch is considered one of the game's best running backs but it wasn't long ago he struggled through that first season in Seattle (165 attempts for 573 yards and 3.5 yards per carry).

Matt Hasselbeck had a first hand look at Lynch's shortened season in Seattle where his "numbers weren't exceptional but he still meant a ton (to the Seahawks)," according to the Seahawks starting signal caller.

Comparing Lynch's situation to that of Richardson is difficult but there are certainly similarities in both cases.

Hasselbeck sees some of that and points to games like Richardson had against Lynch's Seahawks last year as the flashes the veteran quarterback expects to see grow in 2014.

"In four-minute situations, (Richardson) ran hard for us," Hasselbeck says.

"With Marshawn, he's obviously gone on to a very successful career and I think everybody believes with what we're trying to do offensively, the other backs that we have, that Trent can have that type of impact."


Getting to know the guys who are blocking for you is one area Hasselbeck pointed to in hindering Richardson's immediate success.

As a 16-year vet, Hasselbeck looks at the big picture in what all goes in to switching teams.

"For me, going from a new team a couple times in the offseason was a big adjustment," Hasselbeck says.

"To do it in-season is just incredibly difficult, never mind the off the field distractions of finding a place to live, knowing your way around, shipping your car, all the distractions that go with it. Just being the new guy to answer interview questions week-after-week, day-after-day can really just take your focus away of running the rock."

A different focus for Richardson was evident in Week One of the Colts offseason program.

Richardson said his notebook of film review is already seven-to-eight pages deep and the 23-year old running back isn't shy to reveal what the 2014 season means to him.

"Any complaints after this (season) should be really irrelevant," Richardson said. "There should be nobody saying Trent Richardson can't do this or their backfield isn't going to be lethal enough.

"People don't realize how important this is to me as a football player and to myself how big the season is to me."

A nagging shoulder injury that hampered Richardson in 2013 is now fully healed.

He is a part of a three-man backfield that includes proven starters in Ahmad Bradshaw and Vick Ballard.

Yet, when No. 34 runs out on to the Lucas Oil Stadium turf this fall, he wants all of Colts Nation on the edge of their seats.

"What's going to be the next thing he does?" Richardson says of what fans should think when he's in the game. "When it comes to fourth-and-one, we know he's going to get the ball. When it comes to blocking on third down, we know he's still going to be in the game.

"When it comes to stuff like that, I don't want anything negative, just more positive stuff for people to say about me---as a player, as a person, as a leader."

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