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Richardson has nose for end zone

Posted Dec 20, 2012

Trent Richardson has scored a Browns-rookie record 11 rushing touchdowns this season.

When Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson gets the ball, he has one thing on his mind: scoring touchdowns.

That mentality has served the first-year Brown quite well, as he has rushed for 11 touchdowns and scored 12 total touchdowns through the first 14 games of his rookie season. The 11 rushing and 12 overall touchdowns are both rookie records for the team.

“My mindset is to just get in the end zone,” Richardson said. “It’s usually on first down or first-and-four or something like that. When I’m on the goal line or in the red zone, I’ve got to get in the end zone. I’ve got to get in the end zone. If you don’t get in the end zone, you failed.”

In last week’s 38-21 loss to the Washington Redskins at Cleveland Browns Stadium, Richardson rushed for two touchdowns, which allowed him to break the team’s rookie records and later, build upon them.

On the first touchdown, Richardson took a handoff from quarterback Brandon Weeden and muscled across the goal line with Redskins defenders desperately trying to keep him out of the end zone.

“It’s just that drive you have with you and then, you’ve got your offensive line pushing behind you,” Richardson said. “That drive just tells you, ‘I can’t go down. I can’t go down. I’ve got to score.’”

That drive Richardson spoke of Wednesday has resulted in 897 yards and 11 touchdowns on 258 carries, and an average of 3.5 yards per rush during his rookie season. While he ranks second in the NFL in scoring, leads all rookies in points and is among the top five in several other statistical categories, Richardson focuses on one number more than the others.

“I think it’s the win,” Richardson said. “It doesn’t matter if we don’t have all these different yards. To me, it doesn’t matter if I do have 100 yards, 150 yards or two touchdowns and we lose. It doesn’t mean anything. People say I broke Jim Brown’s record last week, but it didn’t mean as much to me because we didn’t win.”

With 103 rushing yards Sunday, Richardson would pass Pro Football Hall of Famer, Jim Brown, as the team’s all-time leader for rushing yards by a rookie and become the first Browns rookie to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark.

“When I’m done with this season, it’s going to be very important, just being who I am with a lot of goals that I have and stuff like that,” Richardson said. “As of right now, I’m just looking to play football. I’m just looking to have fun with my team and if I do reach it, I’ve got to give all of my glory to my offensive line and my receivers for doing stuff on the edges and (quarterback) Brandon (Weeden) for putting me in better positions.”