You would be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks the Colts got the better end of the first-round-pick-for-Trent Richardson trade with the Browns. By just about any measure Richardson's been an unmitigated disaster since arriving in Indianapolis back in mid-September. So much so that Donald Brown, the previously thought-to-be retread former first-rounder, is now the Colts' primary back and he's thriving in that role.
Against the Chiefs last Saturday in the wild-card round, Richardson had one carry for no yards, that ended with him fumbling. That play served as a microcosm of his season.
With the Colts now set to face the Patriots in the AFC Divisional game this Saturday, Richardson is hoping for an opportunity to make amends.
"You feel like you've got to redeem yourself for it," he said, via the Indianapolis Star. "You feel like you've got to make a statement. ... That's one thing that my brother has always told me: The fastest way to get yourself on the bench is fumbling the ball. And that replays in my head every day when I come out to work."
Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton says he won't hesitate to turn to Richardson, whom he says has value beyond his ability to run the ball.
"The game itself, after the fumble, really dictated that we went into more of an attack mode," Hamilton said. "Trent actually did a great job of playing without the ball. His ability to take on those linebackers and handle all the different blitzes that we started to see, especially late in that game, was a big part of our success.
"No, I haven't lost any confidence in Trent at all," Hamilton continued." As a matter of fact, we're counting on Trent and Donald and even Tashard (Choice) because we only have a few backs to be ready to go out and play."
That's the good news. The bad news is, well, just about everything else.
As we wrote back in Week 7, we understand why general manager Ryan Grigson made the deal for Richardson. The running game improves, play-action improves, the offense opens up and Luck is the beneficiary. There's a lot to like. Unfortunately, the theory doesn't match reality. And now Indy doesn't have a 2014 first-round pick, one the team really could have used in May on a run-blocking interior lineman.