Trent Richardson talks Jim Brown
Trent Richardson will get the chance to meet Jim Brown on Sunday and the Cleveland Browns rookie running back said Wednesday he's excited to meet the Hall of Famer, even though the franchise legend slighted him when he was drafted by dubbing him an "ordinary back."
I'm pretty sure that he said that for a certain reason. And trust me, it has pushed me to where I'm at to this point. I was hurt and I had to fight back, and I thought about that every day.” -- Trent Richardson, on Jim Brown's earlier comments that he was "ordinary"
"Going into the game and knowing he's going to be there now, it raises the stakes up higher," Richardson told reporters Wednesday.
"It's going to be an honor just to be on the same field as him. He's going to be out there watching me, and hopefully he'll give me a few words of wisdom while I'm out there. So I can't wait to meet him, and I can't wait to play in front of him."
Brown, who has had a rift with his former team for several years, plans to take part in alumni events this weekend when the Browns host the Buffalo Bills. Brown recently informed the team that he will be in Cleveland for Sunday's game, when the Browns will induct former players Ernie Green and Clarence Scott into their legends club.
Despite his comments earlier this year that he didn't see anything "special" in Richardson, Brown said this week that he was impressed so far by the Richardson's performance through two weeks this season.
On Sunday, Richardson rushed for 109 yards and scored two touchdowns in his second NFL game as the Browns lost 34-27 at Cincinnati. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Richardson became the first Browns rookie since the AFL/NFL merger (1970) with 100-plus rushing yards, a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown in the same game.
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"That's big coming from him. He's a legend. He holds a lot of records here and I'm just trying to fill his shoes," Richardson said.
Richardson missed Cleveland's four preseason games after having his knee operated on for the second time since January and only returned to practice in early September. He speculated that Brown might have made his earlier comments in an attempt to motivate him.
"I'm pretty sure that he said that for a certain reason. And trust me, it has pushed me to where I'm at to this point. I was hurt and I had to fight back, and I thought about that every day. I fought back to get to this point where I'm at right now," he said.
Sunday's appearance will be Brown's first time at Cleveland Browns Stadium in more than two years. He has been at odds with the club since team president Mike Holmgren removed him from his role as an adviser to owner Randy Lerner, who is selling the franchise to Jimmy Haslam III. Holmgren offered Brown a reduced role with the team, but he declined.
Brown was so hurt by Holmgren's decision to change his position with the team that he boycotted a ceremony in 2010, when the Browns unveiled a ring of honor inside their stadium. Brown's absence overshadowed and diminished the event, and his estranged relationship with the Browns has been a sore point for all parties involved.
Holmgren on Thursday said he plans to meet with Brown in the next few days in hopes of patching up his rift with the Hall of Fame running back.
Brown rushed for 12,312 yards in nine seasons with the Browns before he unexpectedly retired to pursue an acting career. He is the franchise's career leader in rushing yards, attempts and touchdowns.
Brown's No. 32 was retired by the Browns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.