Originally written October 25, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:
Like we did last year before it became fashionable, we’ll take a seat each week in our very own WFNY Browns film room and break down a little tape from the game, with a specific focus.  Do enjoy. All week I’ve been hearing discussion about Trent Richardson. There’s been talk about his injury. Talk about his lack of production on Sunday. Talk about sitting him for a few weeks. Even talk about him having a running style that doesn’t work in the NFL. All this based off of 8 runs on Sunday? Let’s take a look first at the runs before we run Richardson out of town shall we? The first run came on the second play from scrimmage. (The first play was a 9 yard catch and run by Richardson.) The Browns are strong to the left. Marecic is the FB lined up in front of Richardson. You can barely make out Marecic behind Lauvao the RG. The play is designed for Richardson to follow his FB through the guard/center gap. You may look at this still and think there is a hole between the RG and RT. I assure you, this is an illusion. The Browns are running to the weak side, and they are actually out-numbered. See how quickly the LB filled that space? Not only that, but the DT has outside position on Lauvao, which is exactly the way it is drawn up. Here’s the broadcast angle. Richardson reads the LB and DT and follows Marecic into the ‘A’ gap. He hits the hole and bursts into the second level. Richardson will gain 6 yards on this play. If Angerer (great name by the way) doesn’t get a good grasp on his waist, this could have been a big gainer. Ok, next run. Next run, balanced formation. The play is going to be a run left. Notice the defensive formation. There are 8 men in the box, plus a safety just behind the 10 yard zone. Think the Colts wanted to stop the run? There are 8 defenders and 7 blockers. And Lauvao doesn’t get good position on his man. At this point where would you run? Richardson cuts to the right to avoid the DT. Unfortunately, he’s headed for the same spot that the DB and LB are about to occupy. No real shot on this play. Here’s the next run. The back in front of Richardson is actually Jordan Cameron the TE, who went in motion and settled in the backfield. The play is a delayed hand-off. Again, I ask you where you would run if you were handed the ball at this moment? Lauvao is on the ground. Not the best blocking position. DE is free on the right side. He’s backed up by a DB. The DT on the left side has beaten Grecco. Just nowhere to run on this play. This ends up in a yard loss. Next run, and another delayed hand-off. Note again the defense. Seven defenders in the box, but like earlier, there are five on the line of scrimmage. They have taken away the edge by doing this. You aren’t going to get outside. Trent receives the ball and look at the line of scrimmage. The blocking is decent, not much movement but there is an orange helmet in front of every defender on the line. The linebackers are unblocked though, and moving in on Richardson. Here is the different camera angle. Richardson eyes the linebackers and decides to try and head between Lauvao and Schwartz. He cuts through the hole and picks up three yards on a run where there wasn’t a ton of room. Would a power back like Hillis have gotten more yards. Possibly. Had it been a third and one situation, I’m sure Richardson would have just put his head down and rammed the line. One thing Trent tries to do is find the right opening. His decision making will of course get faster as he gains experience and confidence in the NFL. Next play. The ball is on the three. Marecic is going to lead block to the outside. The Browns have all eleven players in tight. The Colts respond with 11 in the box. The ball is snapped and the play begins. Where would you run? I’m looking at that spot right behind Thomas and Watson, and hoping it doesn’t get swallowed up by the collapsing interior line. That’s exactly where Richardson heads. Unfortunately, as he gets there Watson’s man has gotten around him and is plugging the outside. Richardson jumps inside and puts his head down. Here you see another view. The defensive end has Richardson by the knees, but he is still able to fall forward and pick up a couple yards. So how do I conclude? Richardson himself said that he is hurting more than people realize. Ok, if that is the case then sit. If the pain in the ribs changes your style, maybe it’s best to let Hardesty have a shot. I don’t see that taking place in the film from Sunday, but there has to be a reason that Richardson only played in the first two Cleveland drives. To say based on the eight runs that Richardson had Sunday that his “style” doesn’t translate to the NFL game is ridiculous. Did he make moves in the backfield before getting to the line? Absolutely. Do I think he ‘danced around’? Not even close. The cuts and jump cuts he made were necessary because there were defenders in the gaps he was supposed to run to. The Colts were game planning to stop the run. On top of that, they were motivated to stop the run from a particularly bad outing the week before. Let’s give Richardson a little bit of slack. Even if he were healthy, this is just his 7th look at an NFL defense. Until next week, the film room is closed.
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