The road back from rock bottom

A cousin and two close friends were sitting in the living room watching a movie in late February as Trent Richardson walked around with his head nodding and a big smile on his face. They knew Richardson had been on the phone, but didn’t know whom he was talking with. They eventually asked, “What’s wrong with you?” Still smiling, Richardson shrugged his shoulders, shook his head and said, “Nothing.” More curious at that point, the next question was, “Who were you on the phone with?” After Richardson disclosed that it was Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, one of the friends — former Alabama teammate Blake Sims — asked excitedly, “You’re going to be a Raven?” Richardson looked at them, smiled and said, “Yeah, I’m going to be a Raven.” A celebration followed with excited yells and hugs inside the living room. “It was just one of those moments,” Richardson said. “Everyone jumped up, and it felt like I won another national championship.” This is an opportunity Richardson wasn’t sure he would get after being cut by the Oakland Raiders last August, likely a final chance for the former Alabama star running back and top five draft pick to prove he can be an asset to an NFL organization –

Nov 24, 2013; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson (34) was benched against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Colts 40-11. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about a fall from grace, I can remember watching Trent Richardson’s Pro Day at Alabama before the 2012 Draft, and hearing well respected draft pundits and former scouts like Mike Mayock, Charles Davis, and Daniel Jeremiah, talk about how Trent Richardson is a can’t miss prospect. Going through his pass protection drills he knocked one of his former coaches over in a quick show of strength and power that even the casual football fan could’ve told you that this kid was gunna be a beast. As we all know Trent ended up being selected 3rd overall by the Cleveland Browns, and followed up with a somewhat promising rookie season despite dealing with a rib injury, he tallied over 950 yards rushing, 12 total touchdowns, adding 51 catches for 367 yards. He followed up the start of next season with the epitome of a sophomore slump. He seemed to have lost burst, quickness, and vision. Giving us raw examples of regression with plays like this…LTynhtv

It only took a few games into the 2013 season before the browns pulled the trigger on a trade and shipped him off to the Indianapolis Colts for a 1st round pick…. where things only got worse. In his 29 games for the colts he rushed for 977 on 316 attempts, which averages out to about 34 rushing yards a game and barely 3 yards a carry. After the 2014 season the colts released Richardson and he was signed by the Oakland Raiders during training camp to a 1 year deal which he didn’t even make it past pre season before he was cut prior to the start of the 2015 season because we saw more plays like this….


Trent has come out and stated why he thinks its easy to get distracted from the game of football. “It’s very easy to get lazy in the NFL -€” not having everything scheduled and not having everything like at Alabama where it was so structured,” Richardson told  Matt Zenitz of “We had study hall or we had to get a workout in in between classes and had five classes a day.  It was just so structured. In the NFL, everything’s on your own.” Richardson also explained how, once he got his contract after being drafted by the Browns, people began asking for things. He said that he bought people cars, paid for five funerals, and even treated people to vacations to Disney World.  In other words, friends and family of Richardson would continually text and call him asking for things, mooching off him, and eventually he grew tired of it and it took his focus away from the football field.

It seemed as though Trent Richardsons NFL journey would likely be coming to an end, until reports surfaced that the Baltimore Ravens have reached an ” unofficial agreement” with Richardson, which basically means when he reaches a physical benchmark, probably guessing that benchmark is to reach a certain weight before they come to terms on an official deal. Head coach Jon Harbaugh of the Ravens has expressed that he is excited to see Trent reach that mark and would love to have him on the team. Harbaugh says he’s been speaking to Trent everyday to monitor his progress and says he thinks he is motivated and ready to get back to playing football at a high level. The odds are not really in his favor of making an impact on the team this year assuming he even makes the team, playing behind Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, and Lorenzo Talaiferio. He will most likely be 4th running back on the depth chart, but he is only 25 years old (turns 26 in July) and doesn’t have much tread on the tires to this point, but he’s been given another opportunity to make a name for himself in the NFL, most likely his last shot. It’s hard to feel sorry for Richardson, but its all on him to see if he gets things figured out and makes the most of this potential signing with the Ravens.

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