BEREA, Ohio -- A motivated
Despite missing some of training camp a year ago due to knee surgery, and having to battle his way through injuries for much of 2012, Richardson broke seven of the team’s rookie rushing records. Now healthy as training camp starts in 2013, Richardson reported to Berea with a chip on his shoulder.
“There’s still a lot that I’ve got to prove, especially with the fans, my teammates, to the NFL world, I still haven’t done what I think I can do,” Richardson said. “I’m not going to let my head get big. I’ve got a lot to prove to Browns fans, to my people back at home, to everybody.
“When it comes down to it, we’re going to see my game elevate and I’m not going to take back steps. I’m going to just keep going up this hill that we’re fighting. We’ve just got to win the one every time.”
Richardson missed the end of OTAs and all of mandatory minicamp this offseason because of a muscle issue in his leg. However, after working through the injury while away from Berea, Richardson reported to camp and was “full go” according to coach Rob Chudzinski.
“We’ll go in and look at the tape, but it seemed like he didn’t have any issues,” Chudzinski said. “He looked pretty good out there for the first day. We don’t have the pads on yet, but I thought he caught the ball well, ran the ball and did some good things.”
Weeden, especially, knows just how tremendous a player Richardson can be after seeing what he did while not at 100 percent physically.
On a surgically repaired knee and with severely injured ribs, Richardson rushed for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns on 267 carries. He also finished second on the team with 51 receptions, which he turned into 367 yards, with a 23-yard highlight-reel touchdown against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 16.
“I feel way quicker without that extra padding right now, especially not the big thing around my ribs,” Richardson said. “I lost weight, am 225 (pounds). I probably came into camp at 230 last year, probably played at 233, and was not able to run fully until Friday. It’s a blessing to be in the shape I am now. I worked hard with my head track coach back home, my receiver coach in high school, and we’ve been working all offseason to get where I’m at right now.
“There’s still a long way to go. We’ve got a long camp, being along day-by-day, working with my teammates, proving myself, trying to step into more of that leader role. I’m getting a lot of advice, from D’Qwell (Jackson), big (Paul) Kruger,
Due to the knee surgery last August, Richardson missed the entire preseason, something he said was “very important” not to do in his second season.
“I want to be out there with my team,” Richardson said. “It’s a blessing to be able to play this game. I play a game that a lot of people wish they could play. A lot of people want to play. A lot of kids look up to us, so, for me to be out there in the preseason and get the game speed down like I want to and for the line to get the game speed down, it’s a big plus for me.
“I don’t hold back at all. I still play every down like I can get better, and like every down is a new down and my last down. I’m working so I can be in the game and working as though I’m in a game situation. I don’t hold back on anything.”