Trent Richardson wants bigger role
Richardson did everything he could Thursday not to criticize coaches for not giving him the ball more last week in a season-opening loss to Miami. But Richardson's message was clear: He wants more touches.
Richardson carried the ball 13 times for 47 yards in the 23-10 loss. But he gained only 14 on five rushes in the second half and did not carry the ball in the fourth quarter as the Browns tried to rally through the air.
"I just don't think they stopped the running game," he said, referring to the Dolphins. "I think we stopped it ourselves as far as we were behind and stuff like that. We've just got to keep fighting and know that no matter what, we've got to stick to our game plan. I guess Coach had another game plan and it went that way."
Richardson's remarks were similar to what he said many times last season, when he rushed for 950 yards while playing much of it with broken ribs. Richardson wants a heavier workload and feels he can carry the offense. Trouble is, the former first-round pick has either been injured or the Browns have been so far behind in games that they've had to pass.
But the numbers support Richardson's' premise that the Browns are at their best when he's getting the ball.
Last season, he averaged 95.8 yards in the five games he had 20 rushing attempts, and the Browns went 3-2. When he didn't get 20 carries, he averaged 45.1 yards and Cleveland was 2-8.
Richardson said he has spoken to coach Rob Chudzinski and offensive coordinator Norv Turner about getting more touches.
Richardson received the ball on four of Cleveland's first six plays last week and gained 26 yards. But the opening drive ended with quarterback Brandon Weeden getting intercepted.
After that, Richardson's opportunities were limited.
"I just thought that we were gonna run the ball," he said, "and I thought it could be a real good day. I just knew that we could run the ball on any team. I feel like it's going to be a fight down to the finish and we were going to win."
Maybe if things had gone according to script, Turner would have given Richardson the ball more. But the score and situation dictated something different.
"We came out and we executed four or five plays awfully well," Turner said. "Then they hit us with a couple run blitzes. They came at us when we started getting a little bit of run and then we didn't execute as well."
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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