INDIANAPOLIS – In the span of 10 days, Trent Richardson has gone from the starting running back for the Cleveland Browns, to a backup for the Indianapolis Colts and now, on Sunday, he will get the starting nod for his new team.
Chuck Pagano announced on Friday that Ahmad Bradshaw will miss Sunday's game with a neck injury but that won't change the Colts approach to the rushing attack.
Richardson calls Ahmad Bradshaw his "big brother" and the two share a running style that falls right in line with Pep Hamilton's wishes.
"Since I got in the league, me and Ahmad always kept a good relationship," Richardson said earlier this week. "I've always been a real big fan of him. We run a lot similar to each other as far as head-banging and stuff like that. That's just how we run. It's how we're bred."
Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has talked about the need for a physical rushing nature and that was on display last week.
The Colts racked up 179 rushing yards on 39 carries and that effort, coupled with a potent passing attack is exactly the offensive balance that the new coordinator is looking for.
"We hope that when an opponent lines up against our offense that we don't tip our hand, there's no way for them to truly predict what we're going to do," Hamilton said earlier this week.
"We want them to just hesitate just long enough for us to gain leverage in the run game and/or get a step on them downfield in the passing game. Our offense, we feel like is built to make the quarterback successful. That's the essence of offensive football in the National Football League, just my opinion."
The addition of Richardson is less than two weeks old but Hamilton is already seeing the qualities that made No. 34 the third overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Hamilton was impressed by how much of the Colts playbook Richardson consumed before last week's win over the 49ers."It's just a testament to his football acumen," Hamilton said of Richardson's 29 snaps last weekend."It was a good mix of run and pass with Trent last week. It was great to see him be able to go out and not just run the football but protect the quarterback as well in passing situations. We're excited about Trent."
While some of the Colts running schemes are similar to what Richardson ran in Cleveland, the terminology of the playbook has been the hardest thing for him to grasp.
The passing game part of the playbook is something that Richardson has continued to delve into this week.
On display against the 49ers was the power rushing game and now Richardson will be counted on in the passing attack as the Colts continue to strive for the offensive balance that will be hard to defend late in the season.
"You have to make sure you have all the calls down because (Andrew) Luck, he's going to audible," Richardson said earlier this week. "If he sees something wrong, he's not going to throw you into a mess. He's not going to run you into a mess."
"I'm studying and I'm picking Luck's brain. That's hard to do. He's a genius, man. I don't care what anybody says. He's one of the smartest men I've ever met."