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Trent Richardson has struggled to make an impact since being traded to the Indianapolis Colts, but the running back defended himself against critics Monday, saying he believes he has been playing well.
Richardson has averaged just 2.8 yards per carry since the Colts traded a 2014 first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns in Week 3 to acquire the third overall selection of the 2012 draft.
“I’m not frustrated at all because I think I’ve been playing good,” Richardson said, according to The Indianapolis Star. “If you turn on the film, I don’t have any missed assignments. I haven’t had any missed reads. I’ve been playing good. Stuff just hasn’t matched up like we thought it would when I’m in there. I think teams match up differently when I come in.
“But if [running back] Donald [Brown] is having a good day or [quarterback] Andrew [Luck] is having a good day, I think that’s a good day for me even if people are keying on me. That might let Donald get going or let Andrew have a big day. That’s a good day for me, too,” he said, according to the newspaper.
Brown has seemingly made a bigger impact for the Colts since the trade, averaging a gaudy 6.1 yards per carry since Richardson joined the team. In the Colts’ victory over the Tennessee Titans last Thursday, Brown helped Indianapolis close out the game, rushing 10 times for 51 yards and two touchdowns in the second half.
Richardson said he doesn’t need long runs to feel like he is doing his job.
“If I don’t have big runs because they’re trying to stop the run, then I feel like I’m doing my job,” he said, according to the newspaper.
Richardson ran for 22 yards against the Titans — his best performance since he gained 37 yards on the ground against the Denver Broncos last month. His best game with the Colts was against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 4, when he ran 60 yards in his second game with the team.
“You look at Trent’s runs, for whatever reason, there’s penetration” coach Chuck Pagano said last week. “There’s a guy in the backfield waiting there. He had some really good runs, plays that he made in space, screens; things like that he does a great job with.
“Just, for whatever reason, we miss a block here or there and a guy is sitting there free in the hole. It just happens to be that we just handed the ball to [Richardson], so it’s nothing that he did. We’ll get it fixed. We’ll get the holes there.”
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.