Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress said today rookie running back Trent Richardson will likely begin to play more snaps on third down.
But it remains to be seen how soon Richardson’s workload increases.
Richardson played 48 of the Browns’ 67 snaps (72 percent) Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. Chris Ogbonnaya served as the team’s third-down running back.
“We kind of use him as we see fit,” Childress said of Richardson. “We had Obi written into the plan last week and for right now he’s doing a good job with that. That’s always some of the hardest things to learn is picking up the protections and that type of thing. But we’ve got guys. I believe many hands make light work and so you want to use guys whose particular skill level really kind of fits that situation. I think Trent, you’ll see Trent grow into playing more and more on those third-down situations.”
Richardson, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, missed most of training camp because he had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee Aug. 9. Childress conceded the lost time has affected Richardson’s lack of playing time on third down.
“You want him to do the things he’s mastered, and the other stuff, you’re always trying to refine and get better,” Childress said. “It surely couldn’t help to miss those three weeks and all the blitz drills that we’ve had and those type of things.”
Browns coach Pat Shurmur called Richardson “an every-down back” Wednesday. So how long will the Browns wait to use him that way?
Tight end Alex Smith (concussion) and rookie linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique) were the only Browns players who did not practice today.