Trent Richardson shocked he didn’t play more on third down
Richardson rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns last season, and he caught 51 passes for 367 yards and a touchdown. Richardson is fast, super strong and a good receiver. You would think all of those traits would make him a great player for third downs, but he was hardly on the field during those situations in the team’s 23-10 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
The Browns only converted 1 of 14 third downs in the game. Richardson had just 13 carries for 47 yards and two catches for six yards. He expressed his surprise on Thursday over not playing much on third downs.
“It was kind of a shocker that I wasn’t playing as much as I thought on third down,” Richardson said at practice, via ESPN Cleveland.
Norv Turner, who is in his first season as the team’s offensive coordinator, explained that Richardson isn’t ready for the situations because he wasn’t involved enough during training camp.
“A lot of it is where we’re at as a group,” Turner explained per ESPN Cleveland. “We want Trent on the field. There’s some things he’s ready to handle in that third down stuff and our nickel package and some things (Chris Ogbonnaya’s) going to handle that stuff for a while. Trent missed some time obviously in camp and there’s some things we want to use him in there and we’re going to use him when we can.”
That doens’t sound like a very good reason for not having your best back out there. My guess is this will be changed for the Browns’ game at the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, not that anything other than a loss will be expected anyhow.