Colts' Trent Richardson all smiles

Updated: September 19, 2013, 4:45 PM ET
By Mike Wells | ESPN.com

INDIANAPOLIS -- Running back Trent Richardson has no ill will toward his former team, the Cleveland Browns. At the same time, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft can't help but be excited about his future with the Colts.

[+] EnlargeTrent Richardson
AP Photo/Michael ConroyTrent Richardson said he is excited to become a member of the Colts' explosive offensive attack.

He's now teammates with Andrew Luck, the quarterback taken two spots in front of him in that draft, plus a future Hall of Famer in receiver Reggie Wayne and an up-and-coming receiver in T.Y. Hilton. That's why Richardson was all smiles inside the Colts' locker room Thursday.

"[The Colts] gave up a first-round pick. That shows a lot of respect they have for me," said Richardson, who will wear No. 34 with the Colts. "Playing against these guys twice, just seeing how they are around each other when they're on the sideline, how they're jelling together, just being in the locker room for these couple hours, it's been a big change. They're happy to come to work, and they're ready to go."

The Colts gave up a first-round pick in 2014 to acquire Richardson from Cleveland on Wednesday. Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said he first had talks with the Browns about Richardson earlier in the week.

Indianapolis had to make a move to upgrade the running back position after Vick Ballard went down with a season-ending knee injury Sept. 13.

"He loves football," Grigson said about Richardson. "He has the right body type for his style as a runner, and his style fits this offense."

The Colts don't look at Richardson as part of a short-term fix. They brought the 22-year-old on board to be part of the future with Luck, and it shows the Colts still have every intention of making the playoffs despite losing three starters in the past week.

"You got a great young quarterback and a great young runner," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said. "We know we're trying to build a monster here, and we're trying to build a program for sustained success for the long haul."

Richardson practiced with the team Thursday and will be in the lineup when the Colts play the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday because, as Pagano put it, they didn't bring Richardson to Indianapolis to be "the water boy" this weekend.

Richardson will eventually take over the starting spot from Ahmad Bradshaw -- possibly as early as Sunday -- and be the workhorse in the offense. Richardson rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns last season as a rookie.

The Colts had no intention of getting away from their power running game even before they acquired Richardson. Now the expectations for it to be effective are even higher with Richardson and Bradshaw in the backfield because both players are backs who run "angry and with a purpose" when they have the ball, Grigson said.

"This guy is a rolling ball of butcher knives," Pagano said. "Ahmad is the same way. He fits our system. He fits our scheme to the tee."

Mike Wells

ESPN Indianapolis Colts reporter

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