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Trent Richardson: 'I'm going into this game like it's my last one'


Trent Richardson played nine games at Cleveland's FirstEnergy Stadium before he was dealt early last season in a blockbuster trade to the Indianapolis Colts.

To say his 10th means a little something extra would be a vast understatement.

"It's big," Richardson said on a Wednesday conference call. "I'm an emotional guy, but at the same time, I'm going to be happy to see some of my (family) and some of the good relationships that I made when I was down there. It's going to be a lot going into this game, a lot of emotion, a lot of physical, a lot of mental. I know that it's going to be hard to stay mentally (focused) seeing everybody that I knew and played on the same (team). It's where I got drafted at, I thought that this would be the only team that I'd play for.

"I'm going into this game like it's my last one."

Really, though, it's the last four of the regular season that mean quite a bit to Richardson, who has labored since he joined the Colts two games into last season.

Richardson, who ran for 950 yards and 11 touchdowns as a rookie in Cleveland, averaged fewer than 3 yards per carry and finished with 458 in 2013. This season, he's at 445 but has averaged only 2 yards on his last 27 carries.

Daniel Herron, a Warren, Ohio, native who stepped in as Richardson's partner in the backfield after Ahmad Bradshaw was lost for the season, has 153 yards and a touchdown in the Colts' last two games.   

"With the NFL, it was much different when I first got here and that was one thing that I had to learn. I had to respect, humble myself and learn how to trust everybody because at the end of the day, you can be out of the NFL. One minute you're there, and the (next) minute, you're not," Richardson said. "I had to learn that and people said that I haven't had a lot of success. It is what it is. I haven't had it like I've wanted to, my expectations, at least to now. These next four weeks, I can't wait to get out of this corridor. I can't to get out of this tunnel. I can't wait to get out of this hole. I want everybody to see and to know that I'm still that running back, I'm still that guy that they chose with the third pick."

Richardson's certainly struggling, but he's still a physical NFL running back who typically receives more than 10 carries per game. With a quarterback like Andrew Luck under center for the Colts, the last thing Cleveland wants to experience is a Richardson revival inside its home stadium.

"(He) runs hard, good back, will get downhill. You better bring it when you tackle him," defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil said. "He's got ball skills out of the backfield. He's a complete running back. I'm expecting them to try and get him going a little bit this week knowing that he's coming back to Cleveland."

The Browns received the 26th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft for Richardson, one of just two running backs who have been selected in the first round since 2012. The Browns packaged the pick with the 83rd selection in a trade with the Eagles to move up to No. 22 and pick quarterback Duke Johnson Jr..

The Browns' current backfield includes third-round pick Terrance West and fellow rookie Isaiah Crowell, who went undrafted but has blossomed as one of the team's top running options. Richardson knows him well, as he tried to convince Crowell, who started his college career at Georgia, to come to Richardson's Alabama back when he was a high school recruit.

"Isaiah is a special type of kid. He's a kid that works hard and doesn't give up. I think that Isaiah deserved that job," Richardson said. "Whether I was there or not, I still want to be that guy any place that I'm at and saying that, I'm always going to work my hardest no matter what, if I'm here or there, there or here, no matter what it is.

"I'm always going to want to be that guy. I'm not looking at him and say that I wish that was me because that's his time. That's his time to shine, while I'm doing my thing over here."

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