Cleveland Browns rookie running back
Richardson appreciated the faith his teammates placed in him with the selection.
“To be a game captain, it means a lot to me,” Richardson said. “It’s an honor and it’s a privilege. It means guys have a lot of respect for me. It means that I’ve earned and I’ve learned a lot since I’ve been here and it means there’s still a lot to go for me and my potential here. As far as this year, there’s still a lot to go for us as a football team. These guys believe in me. They’re showing me and telling me that, ‘Hey, we’re behind you. Lead us on.’”
Earlier in the season, Richardson pulled his teammates together for a meeting during practice and expressed his desire to work hard and turn the slow start against Philadelphia into wins on Sundays. Following that conversation with the team, Richardson -- a two-time national championship-winning running back at the University of Alabama -- said he and quarterback
“Just because we are young, or we are rookies, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be leaders,” Richardson said. “Since it’s our first year, it doesn’t mean we can’t be leaders. It doesn’t matter if you’re out there saying it. You could lead by example. That’s one thing you’re taught as a young guy. Any football athlete is taught to be a leader by example.”
By addressing the team after the season-opening loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, Richardson was following the example he watched as a young boy, the one his mother gave to him in Pensacola, Fla.
“My mom was never shy at anything she did,” Richardson said. “My mom always made do for us and she always told us, ‘Whatever you do, make sure you do it for a purpose and make sure you’re out there doing your best. If you’ve got anything to say and you feel any type of way about anything, you make sure you speak your mind and don’t hold anything in because that can kill you inside.’”
Ironically, Richardson’s captaincy comes against the same team he set career highs against earlier this season.
When he lines up behind Weeden Sunday, Richardson will see a defense that allowed him to rush for 109 yards and a 32-yard touchdown on 19 carries and also, catch four passes for 36 yards and a 23-yard highlight-reel touchdown when the teams met at Paul Brown Stadium in September.
“You’ve got to take everything that they give you and Cincinnati is a team with linebackers,” Richardson said. “Their linebackers are coming downhill every play, so you’ve got to make sure to take anything they give you. They’re going to have Carlos Dunlap back and I got to play against him in college and I know the type of player he is. That guy is long and he’s fast. He’s one of the guys that’s a rare specimen. When it comes down to it, you’ve got to make sure you get into the second level and when you do that, you’ve got to make sure you make guys miss because those guys are trying to put a hat on you.”