In what has rightly been called a stunning move, the Indianapolis Colts yesterday traded for former Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson for their 2014 first-round draft pick.
From what I’ve seen on Twitter, the feeling from fans is borderline euphoric that we got the 3rd overall draft pick from the same class that gave us Andrew Luck. I, on the other hand just can’t seem to get very excited about the move.
That’s not to take anything away from Richardson. He obviously has talent. He could be the key to bringing Pep Hamilton’s run tough offense to the forefront. But it’s what he can’t do that keeps me from being too pumped about it.
You ask anybody right now what the biggest problems the Colts have right now, and I’ll guarantee you the top two things mentioned are either the offensive line and the defense. The run game would be a distant third, if not lower. And no matter how good a player Richardson is or will become, he cannot help with either of these things.
The offensive line, despite additions made this offseason, still isn’t getting the job done. Through two games, the Colts have allowed 7 sacks, an average of 3.5 per game. Extrapolated for a 16 game schedule, and that puts them on a 56-sack pace. Last year, they allowed 41, or just over 2.5 per game. That’s not a great start, especially when the defenses you’ve played so far are Oakland and Miami. It makes me fear for Andrew Luck’s health after playing the likes of San Francisco and Seattle. Not to mention that it will likely be a bit worse now that one of our key free agents – starting G Donald Thomas – is out for the season with a quad injury.
Bad offensive line play is also not conducive to a great run game. No matter how good a running back is, they need good blocking in front of them to be successful.
Defensively, the Colts are giving up 385 yards per game through the first two weeks (23rd) and allowing 20.5 point per game (14th). To repeat myself, the two teams they’ve played are the Raiders and the Dolphins. Neither of those teams has an offense that strikes fear in the hearts of opposing defenses.
Regarding T-Rich himself, well I have issues there also. First off, he’s only averaged 3.5 yards per carry for his short career. I realize he’s played in Cleveland where they haven’t been good offensively since returning to the league in 1996. But you give up a first round draft pick, you generally want to get an established player with a history of success. Richardson doesn’t have that. There’s also the case of his injury history. He’s played hurt, starting in all but one of his 18 games. But don’t we have enough players with injury issues right now? It seems every year for the past six or so years, the Colts are one of the teams hit with injuries the hardest. And so far, 2013 hasn’t been any different with the team losing three starters (Thomas, RB Vick Ballard, and TE Dwayne Allen) for the season in a span of less than a week. I’m just not super excited about giving up our first round pick for a player with that kind of history.
All that being said, here’s hoping T-Rich has along, successful career here in Indy. We could use it, and so could he. Its just that we could have used a lot of other things a little bit more.
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