Originally written July 04, 2012 on Waiting For Next Year:
Are we not talking about Trent Richardson enough? In some senses I guess there isn’t much to say. Richardson has even successfully avoided letting Jim Brown and his comments get under his skin all throughout the off-season. His contract isn’t signed yet, although it doesn’t really appear that anyone is remotely concerned yet. What does it say about us as a fanbase that we aren’t ending every Browns conversation saying, “But yeah. Regardless, I can’t wait to see what Trent Richardson does this year.” Are we already taking him for granted even without seeing him play? Did we just plug him in atop the depth chart and instantly go to Brandon Weeden and the QBs because that conversation is just so much more comfortable? Probably. We should also probably stop that. Trent Richardson does have a lot to prove, but there is a lot of reason for potential excitement. Richardson might have instantly become the best running back in the AFC North. Rashard Mendenhall is a beast, but he tore his ACL against the Browns last season, so there are plenty of question marks surrounding him. The Bengals got rid of Cedric Benson in favor of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Say what you want about Benson and his character, but I still think he is a better running back than Green-Ellis. Ray Rice is clearly the #1 on paper right now, but he’s been franchised by Baltimore and who knows where he is mentally or physically as he scraps with his agent for a long-term deal. It wouldn’t be the first time that a guy who was due a big contract came back bitter and out of shape. Considering all that, Trent Richardson instantly walks into the division with a good chance at being the second best running back right away. And if Richardson is as good as the Browns think he is, he might just be equal to Ray Rice. Browns fans should be so lucky, but you aren’t an idiot for hoping for that level of quality from a guy with Richardson’s pedigree who was picked 3rd overall. Maybe we all need a bit of controversy in order to spike the conversation, but it’s kind of wrong. Trent Richardson is more likely to make Brandon Weeden’s career than vice versa. Brandon Weeden is important, but clearly not as big a deal this year than Trent Richardson.
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