INDIANAPOLIS –Trent Richardson has heard a bit of everything in his time with the Colts, including catcalls that the trade that brought him here has not reaped full rewards.
The hard-hitting Richardson concurs and points forward.
"I agree. They haven't seen everything they're going to get out of me yet," said Richardson. "A lot of it is going to come next year. I'm going to put in a lot of work, as I've been doing, just going to keep going uphill."
Richardson rushed for 458 yards, three touchdowns and a 2.9 average while starting eight of 14 games in Indianapolis.
Richardson came to town in a week three trade for the club's first pick in 2014 and met a clamoring following that wanted him to build on his 950-yard rookie season in Cleveland while showing the power he displayed at Alabama.
He came after the club had lost Vick Ballard and was soon to lose Ahmad Bradshaw. Richardson was getting a playbook that was a cerebral challenge (more than 200 pass route concepts) for anyone not from Stanford, and he was pushed into the fray without off-season acclimation.
Ryan Grigson heard the chatter and said during the year getting Richardson was like having next year's top pick already on hand. Grigson does not back down from his assessment of Richardson being a valuable commodity.
"There's many examples of backs that came into this league with so much promise that took a full year and had the low average per carry and things like that," said Grigson. "We have patience. He's not going anywhere. We have him for the long haul.
"We don't win 12 games this year if Trent Richardson isn't here. That's just a fact."
Richardson lost playing time later in the year when Donald Brown flourished and had the best of his five career seasons.
Richardson concurred it was the right move for the time. He knows just as well his time is coming, and it starts in April.
"(You) will see a big significant difference in the way I play, the speed," said Richardson. "I won't have to think about a lot of stuff – timing with the offensive line, with Andrew (Luck), what a cover two or a cover one is, what double teams you're getting.
"You never get to learn once you get put in in the middle of the season. You just get to memorize stuff. Our job is just as hard as the quarterback. People don't realize that."
Pagano and his offense dealt with losses beyond just Ballard and Bradshaw, and plugging Richardson into the lineup was a work in progress.
Richardson had to get up to speed while others could not slow down for him.
"He was just thrown into the mix like that. Now, he has an opportunity to go through an offseason," said Pagano. "It's going to be very, very important for him to dive into this thing full steam ahead, which he will.
"He wants to be great. He's got all the talent, all the ability. We would have never done what we did if we didn't believe that deep down in our core. We look for him to have a great offseason and a great 2014."
Grigson said the move to get Richardson was not a panic reach made of necessity. It was done to land a talent that will perpetuate the ground attack sought by Pagano.
Grigson thought Richardson thrived in some third-down roles, something that perhaps was inverted in order for what some backs do when joining a program.
Grigson sees nothing but upside for a player who says he will keep marching uphill.
"Trent fits all the things that we are trying to do here," said Grigson. "He's going to be dialed in as a pro. Chuck and all of us know that with a year under his belt, you are going to see a different player.
"I know he's (Richardson) not satisfied. I'm glad he's not, that's why we have him here for the long haul. It was very economically wise as a franchise to make the move, given where we are going with the run game. We are happy with Trent."