In his first month as a National Football League player, Cleveland Browns running back
Richardson has scored a rushing touchdown in three straight games and leads the team with 222 yards, the three touchdowns and 64 carries.
“I always had a nose for the end zone, especially when we’re down in the goal line,” Richardson said Wednesday. “My mindset is if we’re down in the red zone, we’ve got to score. If they give me the ball, most definitely, I’ve got to make something happen for the team.
“Anytime we’ve got the ball, my mindset is, ‘Hey, we’ve got to get in the end zone; we’ve got to get a first down, something.’ For me, it’s always been a mindset that as a competitor, to try to get in the end zone as much as I can.”
Although he has had success inside the red zone, Richardson quickly realized those last few yards before reaching the end zone can be the most difficult to gain.
“The 10 yards is like a lifetime,” Richardson said. “Every man’s out there fighting for their life, especially on the defensive side. The guys don’t want to be pushed back. Those guys want to be the bigger man in the hole. No man wants to get whupped on the goal line. In the red zone, the defense is in crunch time.”
The Browns have scored two touchdowns inside the 20-yard line this season, one against the Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns Stadium and the second last Thursday at the Baltimore Ravens.
Richardson has both of the touchdowns, a six-yard score against Buffalo and a one-yard effort at Baltimore.
“Some guys have it and some guys don’t,” Browns coach Pat Shurmur said of Richardson’s knack for scoring touchdowns. “There’s a lot of guys that can get you up and down the field. There’s running backs that can get you up and down the field and there’s other ones when you give it to them, they see where they fit in the whole deal and they find a way to get into the end zone.”
Through the first quarter of the 2012 regular season, the Browns have averaged better than 300 yards-per-game and scored 73 points, but Richardson feels there is still work to be done in the way of progress.
“We aren’t good until we win,” Richardson said. “We’re almost there, but until we start winning, that’s when we’ll be good. The offense is a big part of that. We have to put up points, catch the pass, run the ball hard, make blocks and we have to be on our right assignments. We have to know what we are doing when we run our routes or check downs or whatever it is. We are going to come together and it’s coming along. We are getting there.”