Trent Richardson project already drawing negative reviews
By Chase Ruttig
May 26, 2015; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Trent Richardson (33) carries the ball under the supervision of running backs coach Bernie Parmalee at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
When the Oakland Raiders signed Trent Richardson the reviews around the league were expectedly negative for bringing in a player who was labelled a bust after falling off with the Indianapolis Colts. The former star at Alabama turning from a promising rookie with the Cleveland Browns into one of the worst running backs in the league in just a few short seasons after the Colts decision to trade for Richardson ended up being a massive failure for everyone involved.
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Despite the low expectations, the Raiders hope for T-Rich is to help the still young running back get his career on the right path again and hopefully reap whatever production they can get from giving the former first round pick his potential last opportunity in the NFL. Reggie McKenzie taking a low risk that the team hopes can garner some reward if a motivated Richardson can earn a spot on the 53 man roster and provide depth at running back alongside Latavius Murray and Roy Helu Jr.
According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle the hope for Richardson may already be dwindling as the Raiders beat reporter/columnist divulged that there are rumblings that T-Rich’s reclamation project is already not going as well as hoped in a recent training camp preview column.
"4. Can the Raiders be a bully on offense?Sorry to borrow former head coach Hue Jackson’s phrase, but that is what Oakland wants to be. Just like last year under head coaches Dennis Allen and Tony Sparano, the Raiders want to establish the ground game behind a big, nimble offensive line. Besides the coaches, running backs Darren McFadden and Maurice Jones-Drew are gone, as is Wisniewski. Big 2014 free-agent signing Austin Howard has been moved from guard to right tackle after a disappointing season. The left side of the line is very good with Donald Penn and Gabe Jackson lining up next to Hudson. Latavius Murray will get every chance to be the lead running back as whispers are that the Trent Richardson reclamation project is not going so well."
It should be noted that it is a bit too early in the process to start writing off Richardson as there has yet to be a practice in full pads for the Raiders or even a preseason game to evaluate the running back’s improvement or decline from his time with the Colts. Richardson is going to have a long road to shedding his ‘bust’ label and he may never get back to the level that many thought he could have played at in the NFL after college, but we should wait until he finishes August or his first regular season (assuming he makes the team) with the Raiders before giving up on T-Rich’s comeback story.