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Richardson, Weeden press conf. transcript - 4/27

Posted Apr 27, 2012

Browns running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden press conference 4-27-12

Trent Richardson

(On his reaction to becoming a Cleveland Brown)- “Just to let you know how I’m feeling, I haven’t been able to sleep. I am just so excited to be here. I love the feeling. All of the great running backs that have come from here, to try to follow in their footsteps and make a name for myself is going to be big.”

Trent Richardson

(On being in Cleveland)- “Just being here is an honor and a pleasure. To be a part of this tradition that they have here with these great running backs that they have had here and to try to make a name for myself is going to be big. I have a lot of respect to earn and I have a lot to prove. It is going to be a challenge for me and more of a big opportunity for me, especially around this community.”

Brandon Weeden

(On his reaction to being drafted by the Browns)- “It’s a honor. This is obviously a great organization. I am sure Trent can attest to this, to hear your name called on that night is pretty special. I think it really is. It is a dream come true for all of us and to be a part of a great organization like this is truly an honor. I think he can tell you, we’re ready to start playing football. We have been doing all of this others stuff, traveling and doing other stuff, we are ready to line up and play some football. It’s a lot of fun.”

Brandon Weeden

(On how excited he is to have Richardson as his running back)- “Very, obviously, I have followed his career at Alabama. I told people last week, he is the best player in the country last year in college football. He is very, very dynamic. As a quarterback it is comforting, you can turn around and hand the ball to a guy like this. One it can make a quarterback look really good at times and he’ll make your offense really go.”

Trent Richardson

(On if they knew each other prior to being drafted)- “Like he said, we followed each other. We really didn’t come in contact with each other, but once we did meet each other, we actually trained together down in Arizona. We just hit it off and just gelled down there in Arizona. When it came down to it, we are happy to be teammates.”

Trent Richardson

(On why he enjoys pass blocking)- “Pass blocking is just fun for me because growing up I was always the shortest. All of my brothers were bigger than me so I had to do something and make sure they stopped beating up on me all of the time. Pass blocking, it just comes natural to me and that it the fastest way to put yourself on the bench, if you do not know how to block nobody and I want to be an every down back. When it comes down to it, if they need me on third down to block somebody or second down to block somebody and even on fourth down to be in the game for special teams, whatever it takes. If they want me to be the PP (punt protector), I am going to be the PP. I don’t want to leave the field and I want to be one of those guys that is always going to have his name remembered in the National Football League.”

Trent Richardson

(On playing in a pro-style offense with Nick Saban)- “I think it is going to help me a lot, especially with the knowledge that I have learned and gained from being around a pro-style offense. Coach (Jim) McElwain does a real good job of getting us in good position to score touchdowns or to contribute to the team as far as getting first downs. With the offense running back coach we have had, he has been a hard-nosed dude that is not going to take nothing from nobody. He is going to make sure he gets the full potential he can out of you. Coach Saban, that is what he does too and I don’t expect anything less from the coaches here.”

Brandon Weeden

(On if he ever thought he would be a first round pick in the NFL)- “I always hoped that was the direction I would go. It really wasn’t until 2006 when I realized that I was going to go back and pursue football in the first place. I was still naïve enough to think that I could pitch in the big leagues and I found out real quick that it wasn’t going to happen. To answer your question, I would say no, not necessarily. My junior year I continued to get better as a quarterback and I always dreamed of being in the exact same position I am today. Like I said, I am blessed. I think, and Trent will say the same thing, it’s an honor to be in this position.”

Brandon Weeden

(On how hard he could throw a baseball)- “I topped out at 97 (mph). I would pitch anywhere from 91-97. It didn’t matter, you could throw 107 and they’re still going to hit it. I threw hard, I was blessed with a strong arm, but those guys you see pitching every night, they have all three pitches that are really, really good and I didn’t.”

Brandon Weeden

(On the difference between throwing a baseball and a football)- “Completely different motion. One, the baseball is really light and it is more of a long motion. You are putting a lot more strain on your arm. Throwing the football is more compact. The ball is heavier. The arm speed is completely different. There are a lot of guys who have wear and tear from throwing a baseball, but you very seldom do you ever see a guy who has arm issues throwing the football. It is just a different motion. For example, every offseason I would a throw a football before I even picked up a baseball to kind of get my arm in shape without putting all of the stress on it and kind of strengthened my arm to get it going before spring training. It’s two totally different motions, but I always had a football in my hand in the offseason.”

Brandon Weeden

(On why he decided to pursue baseball first)- “I think the opportunity. My senior year, I was one of the better players coming out of Oklahoma state. I was throwing hard and being projected, and obviously to have the opportunity to be the first pick of the New York Yankees with the opportunity to go back to school and they paid for it. I think that is just too much as an 18 year old kid to pass up. Like I said, I wouldn’t change my decision. I don’t regret anything I have ever done. I think everything happens for a reason. I was talking to a guy on the plane this morning and I said, ‘Everything happens for a reason.’ It was kind of funny how things work out and I am blessed to be where I am at right now.”

Brandon Weeden

(On his confidence in being an effective red zone quarterback)- “I think down in the red zone, taking care of the football is first and foremost. I think it’s being accurate. Giving your guys a chance to make a play, but don’t force balls to turn the ball over. Especially in this league where defenses are good, the game is faster, the field gets condensed, obviously. You’ve just got to be smart with the football. I think that is one thing at Oklahoma State we took a lot of pride in and Coach (Todd) Monken, our offensive coordinator, he came from the NFL. He stressed it whereas before it wasn’t really like that. Fortunately, coming into this situation, it is fresh on my mind. It is important taking care of the football down there.”

Trent Richardson

(On if Nick Saban gave him any insight on Cleveland and Browns fans)- “He said, ‘You are going to love the community and the fans are going to be a lot similar to Alabama fans and they love the town and they are waiting for the football team to hit off.’ And he told me you are just going to love being around the atmosphere. It is going to be a lot like home when you are talking about college football. He said, ‘It is probably the closest place you are going to get to where the atmosphere is like college football.’ That is what I am used to and that is what I love. That is why I love to play this game, just the atmosphere and just being around everybody.”

Trent Richardson

(On his experience playing in cold weather)- “It gets pretty cold in Alabama in October. I haven’t had it that much. It has snowed up there twice since I have been up there. Like I said, football is football no matter what goes. Cold, hot, you still have got to put on your pads. You still have to put on your helmet and you still have to hit somebody, somebody’s got to hit you. Somebody’s got to score touchdowns and somebody has got to kick a field goal. Football is football no matter where I go. I just have got to make sure I get in shape for it and make sure I can be that player that is going to be able to play in that cold weather. When it comes down to it, this league that we are in here is not a league where a running back is not needed. You need a running back in this league here. When you look back at the old school teams that have won a lot of Super Bowls, you have a good running game with you.”

Brandon Weeden

(On challenges they face with trying to turn the offense around)- “Obviously, this organization felt really comfortable with us as players and I think that is exciting for both of us. I am speaking for both of us here, again. Yeah there is a lot of pressure that goes along with being a quarterback and running back in the NFL. They were so close last year. There were games that where they were close and came up a few points short. That is just the nature of NFL football. I think it is going to be a fun ride. I’ll tell you what, it’s exciting. Like I said earlier, we are ready to get to work and get to know all of the guys, we ran into a few of them down there in the cafeteria, and get to know the guys and get the ball rolling. We are excited about it.”

Brandon Weeden

(On he was teased at Oklahoma State about his age)- “Of course. Obviously, it was there, but I have been consistent in my message the entire time. It is a unique situation. Obviously, the (Chris) Weinke comparison and all that, I feel like we are two totally different guys, but it’s there. I think the more I talked it and the more conversations I had with this organization, they felt comfortable with it not being an issue. I have been saying that all along. My baseball background, what I’ve been through, the adversity I’ve been through, it really prepares me for what I am about to go through. I think being 28 years old is an advantage for me. I use it as an advantage because my body is still fresh. I still have a lot of football left in my tank. I never really saw any negatives because I have to answer the question all of the time. I really see it as a positive and I think it’s really going to help in the locker room. I think it’s going to help me prepare on a daily basis to become the best player I can become.”

Brandon Weeden

(On what his turning point was when he decided to switch to football)- “Basically, I was playing in California in the (Class A) High Desert (Mavericks) and it was the worst experience of my life. The wind blew out about 55 miles per hour every night and I gave up three broken-bat home runs. My ERA was like something astronomical, something like a 5.60 or something not good. I said, ‘You know what? It’s not going to happen. I am not going to make it.’ So I came home. My now-wife, I told her I said, ‘I am thinking about going back and playing college football.’ She was like, ‘Are you crazy?’ and I said, ‘No, absolutely not. Let’s do it.’ It was that ‘06 season. I knew that I didn’t want to be a guy who spent 10 years in the minor leagues. I wanted to give it a shot and if it didn’t work out, I knew this is what I wanted to do. That ’06 season was just enough. I gave up a broken-bat home run, I almost got hit with the barrel, and the ball went over the fence so I was like, ‘That’s for the birds.’”

Brandon Weeden

(On his labrum injury and if he had surgery)- “I have never had a surgery. I have never even broken a bone, knock on wood. I have been very fortunate. Like I said earlier, throwing a baseball is completely different. I went through tendinitis and went through a dead-arm phase. That is just part of throwing 200 innings in a year. It’s tough to do that and stay healthy for the entire time. I never had any surgeries. The tendinitis was there, the labrum stuff. I had doctors at the combine say, ‘If we did a MRI of 100 shoulders from pitchers in the major leagues, you’re going to find a little bit of something, but there is nothing serious.’ It was very, very minute. I have never had surgery. I have thrown thousands and thousands and thousands of footballs at Oklahoma State with zero pain. I can actually sleep at night and it didn’t hurt. I feel good.”

Trent Richardson

(On if he knew he was the Browns guy when they traded up and how did it felt to get that call)- “When I saw them trade up I kind of sensed it. That feeling right then when I got that phone call, it was a big relief because I have been through some stuff and my family has been through some stuff. Now my little girls don’t have to go through the struggles that I have been through growing up, like growing up and having to see their dad and their mom work two or three jobs like I did. My mom is a cancer patient and she fights that every day and she is a strong woman. My mom has done a lot as far as taking in kids that are not hers and getting custody of them, my cousins, and she keeps us all together. She keeps our family strong and she is still disciplining us today. That’s a real mom for you. She was a mom and a dad to us and she is still like that to us today. When it came down to it, I saw my mom and said ‘Mom, we are going to be in Ohio.’ When I told her about the trade, she was like, ‘Are you sure we are going to be there.’ She is making sure because we don’t want to get out hopes up too high because somebody else could have been taken with the third pick. From right then, in my head, before I left here, they said that, ‘You are our guy.’ In my head I was like, ‘They really want me and believe in me and I have got to make sure that I go do something to be an outstanding player. And make sure I am myself at the same time and make sure I can be that guy they can always depend on to put the team on my back when it comes down to it in the trenches.”

Trent Richardson

(On being compared to Emmitt Smith and their relationship)- “Being from the same hometown and from the same school, you have no choice. He was a Gator and I was a Gator in high school. The first thing, when people say something about Pensacola it is, ‘Oh you got Emmitt Smith from there.’ ‘Oh yeah we do.’ He represents us good when it comes to playing football and our relationship is pretty strong. He always tells me that anything I need, like conversation wise or any advice to, ‘Make sure you come and talk to me and make sure you use me as best you can.’ That dude, he is tremendous when it comes to knowing this game of football and just building a relationship with people.”

Trent Richardson

(On what advice Emmitt Smith has gave him)- “He is always telling me, ‘Just be you and just stay humble. Don’t worry about all of the bad and all of the clutter. Don’t let that get into your head.’ He always told me, ‘I am the leading rusher and records are meant to be broken so come get me.’”

Trent Richardson

(On if he can have an immediate impact as a rookie)- “Most definitely. That is the plan and that is the standard I am going to set. When it comes down to it, this town and this community, they expect the same thing and I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t expect the same thing. I am here to try and better the team. We want to win, everybody wants to win. This opportunity that they gave me, I really have to say thanks, because this has always been a dream for me. Coming from where I came from, people don’t make it out of age 18. I really want to thank them and try to repay them back and just try to play good football for them.”

Trent Richardson

(On being compared to Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew and Emmitt Smith)- “You hear comparisons and no, I am not near one of those guys. Those guys did a lot of great things in life, especially with the football in their hand. I can be one of those guys who you can mention my name with that type of back or be the Emmitt Smith type of back or the Marshall Faulk or all of those great guys. Even the great Jim Brown when it comes down to it. There is only one thing you can take to the grave with you and that is your last name. How your name is remembered, that’s on you. That is going to be on my, how I have my name remembered. Not by a coach telling me that you are going to be a great player. That is not going to help my name be remembered in the books. What I do on that field, that is going to be on me. How hard I work, that’s going to be on me. When it comes down to it, I have two little girls who have to eat and who have to have smiles on their face. I can’t let any man take meals from my little girls.”

Brandon Weeden

(On stepping in and playing right away and if he can quicken the learning curve)- “We have got to get started first. I am going to come in and compete and that’s one thing I take a lot of pride in is competing and I am going to do everything in my power to win football games. That is one thing we did a lot of at Oklahoma State as they did at Alabama. It is all about winning games. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, it’s all about winning football games. Whatever my role is to do that, that is the direction I am going to go and I am going to bust my tail to go that direction. I think playing quarterback in this league is demanding. Obviously, you have got to spend a lot of time and learn. I am going to be learning a whole new system, but it is something that I have a passion for and I will do everything in my power to help this team win football games.”

Brandon Weeden

(On playing in the wind in Cleveland)- “Have you ever been to Oklahoma? Oklahoma, it is a windy place, but I have heard that he wind swirls in the stadium. What it all comes down to is throwing a tight football. Throwing a tight spiral and not allowing the wind to affect your ball. We played at Texas Tech this year and we had wind gusts of 80 (mph) and there was stuff on the field and it was crazy, but I think it was one of my best throwing games of the year as far as accuracy and throwing the ball where I needed to. As long as you don’t think about it, if you start thinking about it you’re in trouble, just throw the football tight. Throw it where you want to go and it helps to put a little extra mustard on it here and there.”

Trent Richardson

(On what jersey number he wants)- "I can't wear number three in the league as a running back but you can wear 33. I'm going to let you all see and when it comes out, it comes out. I'm not going to say too much about it but because I probably just gave everything away."

Trent Richardson

(On if he is conscious of his height when he is on the field because he is 5-9)- "I don't really think about my height. They have me at 5-9 but they were pushing my head down (jokingly). I just play football, I don't buy into who is big, who is fast or who is smaller. If you are going to run up to me, I'm going to give you everything I can and I know you are going to give me everything you can. When it comes to being shorter than everyone else, that might be a positive because I can hide behind the blockers and try to squirm through there. I don't buy into the size thing."

Trent Richardson

(On playing behind Mark Ingram at Alabama)- "When Mark and I or anyone around our house at Alabama, we don't call it playing behind anyone. We call it our rotation. We were playing beside each other. We competed every day, no matter what it was. We competed with anything and that made us better. In our room, we always built relationships and we built a family. We weren't out there hoping one would get hurt so we could go in. No, that's being selfish and that's how you mix your blessings. We were out there trying to make sure everyone was playing and eating. When it comes down to it, we want everyone to do the same thing and we want to win. We are here to better each other and make stuff happen. As far as winning a national championships, two out of three years wasn't bad."

Brandon Weeden

(On if he has spoken to Colt McCoy)- "I haven't run into Colt. As far as that other stuff, that's out of my control. I'm here to compete and that's a management decision. I'm blessed to be in this position but no, I haven't run into Colt."

Trent Richardson

(On his injury in high school)- "In high school during my freshman and sophomore year I didn't play football due to an injury I had. I had two screws in both my ankles and I didn't know where my life was going to be. I had my first child when I was a sophomore in high school, so it was going to be either I hung around a wrong crowd, which I wasn't raised that way, and try to get fast money. Or, I could go make something out of myself and go be a grown man and handle my responsibilities. I stood up to the plate and my little girls are happy now. I'm here today now and if you look around anywhere last year I wasn't on any college magazine that you could find. That was big coming from where I came from and seen the things that I've seen. A guy like me, who almost gave up and fought back due to injuries and becoming a father in high school, that's big. I was a child trying to raise a child. I'm not telling anyone to go out and have kids early, but that humbled and grounded me and made me realize that you have to do something that can change your kids and your mom's life. You need to do well for your family."

Trent Richardson

(On if his mother continues to help him)- "Most definitely. I have a lot of respect for my mom. Matter of fact, whenever I get ready to get my house here my mom will be here to help me with my kids. That lady is strong and she has done a lot for me and my family. When I got to college, to help me, my mom moved to Birmingham so I could be 45 minutes away from my kids. That way, I wouldn't just see them every one in a while, I could see them every weekend and sometimes every week."

Trent Richardson

(On if he broke both his ankles)- "No, I tore ligaments in my ankle."

Trent Richardson

(On how it happened)- "Just running sideline to sideline in a Wing T. I guess I was overdeveloped and hadn't grown into my bones yet. I was a big kid. I have no problems with them now. I haven't had any problems since then. Matter of fact, I got faster and stronger too. I'm here today in your face and I'm a Cleveland Brown."

Trent Richardson

(On if his mother is still taking cancer treatments)- "Yes, most definitely. She is healthy but it's a long way to go. That's something we have to monitor and it's something we have to look after. When it comes down to it, there is nothing like your mom, I don't care what they say. You can never get that back. I'm going to treat my mom like a queen like she deserves."