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Transcripts: Former Browns RB Trent Richardson, Colts coach Chuck Pagano discuss blockbuster trade

By Nate Ulrich Published: September 19, 2013

New Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson spoke to reporters today after the Browns traded him Wednesday evening for a first-round pick in next year's draft.

Below are transcripts from Richardson and Colts coach Chuck Pagano's media availability today in Indianapolis.

Running Back Trent Richardson
 
Has the shock worn off yet?
“Yeah, it’s starting to wear off but it’s still a shock. At the same time, I’m ready to open up this new chapter in life, especially here with the Colts. It’s a great surrounding, great coaching staff and a great locker room.”
 
High expectations have followed you here. Are you fine with that?
“Oh yeah, I’ve always been full of high expectations no matter where I go. Even if I’m playing putt-putt golf, I got high expectations for myself, no matter what. I know it’s following me wherever I go and I’m ready to live up to it.”
 
How excited are you to be part of this offense?
“Really excited. You got somebody like Ahmad Bradshaw back there. He’s helping me with all the basics and stuff like that. You got Reggie Wayne on the one side, you got T. Y. Hilton, you got Andrew (Luck) and you got a good defense over there. Just with the whole program, like I said, we just got to take one play at a time and do whatever you can to maximize our strengths and get our different matchups and make sure we win every game.”
 
Coach Pagano says he wants you to be the workhorse back. Is that music to your ears?
“Oh yeah, that’s real good to hear. That’s a lot of music to my ears and you get to rolling. Hopefully I get to play Sunday, whatever coach’s decision he makes, I’ll be ready to go.”
 
How do you feel about the Browns letting you go so soon?
“It was a surprise. But at the same time, like I said, it’s another chapter in my life and with that I’m going to have a chip on my shoulder. I am going to play football like I know how to play football. However it goes with the Browns, good luck to the Browns the rest of the season but other than that, I got to be here playing football. I’m going to make my job the best job it is when it comes to winning.”
 
How did you find out?
“Got a phone call. When I got the phone call, I really couldn’t believe it. I talked to my family and stuff. Same with that, my family was real shocked. At the same time, they gave phone calls to different people too and everybody was like, ‘That’s a good move.’ At the same time, I got to think about my kids’ school and my house and this and that. At the same time it’s, ‘Hey, I’m in a better situation when it comes to playing for an organization that’s ready to win.’”
 
Does this sort of rejuvenate you or make you feel like you want to work extra hard?
“Oh yeah. It made me feel like I got to, because I don’t want to be in a situation where I’m getting traded anywhere as far as somebody saying something about my character or my gameplay. I know this wasn’t that situation, but at the same time, I want to be that guy that wants to put the team on his shoulder.”
 
They gave up a first-round pick for you, so does that let you know you’re part of their future, not just a stop-gap?
“Yeah, they gave up a first-round pick. That’s shows a lot of respect they have for me. Playing against these guys twice, once in the preseason, once in the regular, just seeing these guys and how they vibe around each other when they was on the sideline and just gelling together. Just being in the locker room for these couple hours, it’s been a big change, a big 360. All these guys are having fun and they’re enjoying life right now. They’re happy to come to work and they’re ready to go.”
 
Do you have a message for Browns fans?
“For Browns fans, keep rooting for the Browns. Don’t give up on them. When they get over that hill, it’s going to happen. It’s going to be big too. They got a program that’s going to go in a good direction. With the fans, I hated leaving Cleveland. I love Cleveland, loved being around them. But like I said, I’m here starting a new chapter of my life.”
 
How much extra work are you going to have to put in to get up to speed here?
“The playbook, the coordinator (Pep Hamilton), he worked with Chud (Rob Chudzinski) back when he was in San Francisco, and so it’s just different terminology. Some of the same calls, but it’s a lot of different terminology. With that, I’m a study freak, so I’m always going to be studying and trying to learn new stuff and trying to get to my best ability to be in the right situation to put the team in a better situation to win. I’m going to be up studying all night. I wish I would have got my playbook last night so I could be way more ahead than I am today. But I’m not that far behind, I’m not that far behind. I know it’s a long way to go, but I’m going to work hard each day to make sure that I’m living up to the Colts’ standards.”
 
How valuable is it to you entering into a situation with stability at quarterback?
“It’s a big value to me. People can’t just stack nine in the box no more. You think you’re going to stack nine in the box, Andrew (Luck) got an arm for you and you got Reggie Wayne and T.Y. (Hilton) out there, and you got our tight ends that are going to work too. So it’s a big situation when you got a quarterback that can move it around and you got surroundings where the offensive line is going to be pretty good too. Not saying nothing against the Browns organization, I think that organization was terrific and they’re going to go in the right direction. But like I said, I’m here now and I can’t do nothing but root for us now.”
 
You and Andrew Luck are both young. Is there something to be said for a young quarterback and running back growing together?
“I like to call it a one-two punch. Me and Andrew, we’ve been around each other for quite a while now leading up from the Heisman to the draft and training and stuff. Andrew’s a good guy, just meeting him and his family, just knowing what type of person he is and just knowing that we’re going to grow together, how young we are, we going to be here for a while. We’re not planning on going nowhere. We plan to be here, we plan to grow and we plan to win a lot of games.”
 
Do you have a message for Colts fans?
“Oh yeah, I’m happy to be here and I can’t wait to get started Sunday. I can’t wait to get out there today and just be vibing with my team, get the timing down right. I saw a tweet from Mike Epps and he was saluting me because I got picked up from the Colts. It’s an honor to be here because there’s a lot of history behind the Colts. I’m here to fulfill all the dreams and all the needs that I want as a player and that fans want me as a player. So I’m happy to be here.”
 
Head Coach Chuck Pagano
 
Opening  statement:
“Great to see everybody. Injury update: Pat Angerer did not go yesterday. We held him out with a knee, should be out there today. Antoine (Bethea), we held out yesterday, had a toe, should work today. LaRon (Landry) was out yesterday with an ankle. He’s day-to-day. David Reed went the whole day yesterday and he’s feeling good. As far as injury update, that’s where we’re at from that point. As far as the acquisition of Trent Richardson, obviously we feel great about acquiring Trent. His resume speaks for itself even though it’s a one-year glimpse. You can go back and look at what this kid did in the SEC for three years. When you rush for 3,100 yards and 32 touchdowns and catch as many passes as he caught, you rush for 1,700 yards his last year at Alabama in the SEC, that’s as close a thing to professional football as you can get on a collegiate level. We know what he brings to the table as a runner, as a pass-catcher, as a protector. We feel very excited to have Trent in the fold.”
 
When will he play? Will he play Sunday?
“We did not bring him in here to, I guess, be the water boy on Sunday. He’ll be ready to roll.”
 
What kind of workload are you expecting out of him?
“As much as he can handle.”
 
What does this do to a locker room? You’ve had a rough week with injuries.
“Number one, our guys have faced so much adversity since we’ve been here, everything we’ve been through over the last however many months. Nobody handles adversity quite like this locker room, quite like this coaching staff, this organization. You hate to lose guys but it injects a little bit of energy you could say. Our guys are always excited to bring a great player into the locker room. They want to win. Trent (Richardson) wants to win. That’s the bottom line. Every decision that we make, you’ve heard me say it before, we base on two things: what’s best for this team and what’s going to give us the best opportunity to win.”
 
If Vick Ballard doesn’t go down, this trade doesn’t go down?
“Probably. Yeah we had enough guys. I don’t know where you’re going with it. You can never have enough runners. I think one of the games that I was able to attend last season while I was out sick was the Buffalo game and I think we lost three backs in that game. I believe the next Monday or Tuesday Grigs (Ryan Grigson) was on the wire and I think we brought in three different guys. We were getting ready to draw up a bunch of speed sweeps for T.Y. (Hilton). I was up in the box looking at the deal and we were out of running backs. This guy, this guy, this guy. Not serious stuff but they go down. You can’t have enough runners. I mean, to say unequivocally no, I don’t know. Phone rings, there’s conversations and you do what’s best for the team.”
 
When did Ryan first come to you and what was your reaction?
“I can’t remember exact time that it was. Again, any time you have an opportunity and a name like that pops up, number three overall pick in the same draft as Andrew (Luck), right behind Andrew, RG (Robert Griffin III) and Trent (Richardson), obviously your ears perk up. There’s a certain amount of excitement level. You’re kind of like, ‘Are you being serious? Are you messing with me on this deal?’”
 
You said the phone rang. Did the Browns approach you first?
“I was just being facetious. I don’t know how it went down to be honest with you. I don’t know who dialed first. I guess when I said the phone rang, I don’t know whose end was picking up first to be honest with you.”
 
You now have two great power running backs. Can you talk about that?
“This guy is a rolling ball of butcher knives. Ahmad (Bradshaw) is the same way. He fits our system. He fits our scheme to a tee.”
 
What’s the value of having a young back to grow with a young quarterback?
“It’s huge. He’s 22 years old, just turned 22. I think he won’t turn 23 until this time next year. It’s great. You got a great young quarterback and a great young runner. We got other good runners in there too. You add another piece to the puzzle. We’re trying to build something special. We know we’re trying to build a monster here and we’re trying to build a program for sustained success for the long haul. So this gives you another opportunity to do that.”
 
Was this about getting the right type of running back for the system you want to run?
“It plays into it to a certain extent. But when it’s the player that it is, I don’t know how you pass it up or don’t give it some thought and try to make it work.”
 
What do you say to the critics that say it’s a passing league and say the power running game is a thing of the past?
“You know what, to me, we can throw it. We got one of the best if not the best guys in the National Football League to do that. But you still have to be able to run the football to win at this level. You can sit back there and you have to be able to throw it to win a Super Bowl, I know that. We can do both. I think you have to have balance. Every week is going to be different. Some weeks you’re going to need to run it a little bit more. Some weeks you’re going to have to pass it a little bit more. We can do both.”
 
How do you feel about Ryan Grigson’s willingness to take chances?
“I think what they did is you go back and you look at dynasties. You look back in history and all the great dynasties, whether it’s the Yankees in baseball or the Celtics, the Lakers, whoever, he always points out and talks about number one, they were innovative. They thought outside the box. They weren’t afraid to take chances, calculated chances. Everybody checked their ego at the door and they all had a common belief. I think it’s great on this organization’s part. I think it’s great we have an owner that’s more than willing to be innovative, to think outside the box along with the general manager and give this team, give this coaching staff the pieces needed in order to move forward in order for us to have an opportunity to reach that ultimate goal.”
 
Are you confident you have the offensive line needed to open up the holes for Trent Richardson?
“Absolutely.”
 
You knew going into that draft last year you’d take Andrew Luck. How much time did you spend meeting with and learning about Trent Richardson?
“You have to. You do your due diligence. Just like we did on the quarterback that went number two to Washington. You study. Our scouts and Ryan (Grigson), our entire scouting staff studies everybody. So, we knew this kid inside and out. We made it known what direction we were going but you never know what’s going to happen. So you make sure you know everything about everybody that’s got a possibility of being picked up there.”
 
There was a note out there that you’re going to elevate Da’Rick Rogers to the active roster. Is that true?
“Yeah, we brought him up to the 53. Just so you guys know, it’s ‘Day-Rick.’”
 
You just find that out?
“At walkthrough (laughs).”
 
Have you had a conversation with Trent Richardson yet and how did that go?
“Great. He’s a fabulous young man and we know what type of player he is. But he’s a special, special guy. I’ve taken a couple trips over the last couple years. When I was in Baltimore, I had an opportunity during the lockout to go down and spend a couple days with Nick Saban and their staff and just hang out and talk football. Met him then. I know a bunch of guys on that staff. We’ve got a bunch of people down there. You can’t find one person through that facility, on that campus that won’t just give you raving reviews and glowing remarks about this kid, his passion, his work ethic, being a captain, all those things. This guy loves football. He’s got a strong faith. He believes in family. Everything that we believe in, all our core values, he fits to a tee.”
 
Do you envision him as an every-down back?
“Yeah, he can do it all. He caught 51 passes last year. I can’t give you the breakdown of how many of those were on first, second or third down. I know he caught a bunch in college and I know he caught a bunch last year. At, I don’t know, five whatever and 230 pounds, I know he can pass protect.”
 
How does this change the way a defense has to prepare for you guys?
“All I know is, I got a couple texts from some players I used to coach and it was ‘Wow, congrats and thank you.’ And you know why they said ‘thank you.’ Because he’s out of the division. That tells you right there. He’s a game-wrecker.”
 
Will it help Trent Richardson that he won’t be facing eight in the box like he did in Cleveland?
“This guy, if they put nine down there, you just go watch, put the tape on, you can go back to his days at Alabama or last season or the first two ball games. He’s a tough guy to get down on the ground. Very seldom do you see one guy bring him down alone. He’ll break tackle after tackle after tackle. Again, he’s always going to get positive yards. There may be a time here or there that he doesn’t but he’ll gain positive yards. He’s going to make people miss. He’s going to be hard to get on the ground but if they choose to do that, it just opens it up for everybody else. Opens it up for our tight ends, our wideouts in the pass game. So you got to make decisions on who you want to tend to.”
 
How does this change the role of Donald Brown and the scheme?
“No different than how we started the season with Vick (Ballard) and Ahmad (Bradshaw) and Donald. Everybody understands their role. We’ve got a locker room full of professional guys and nobody that we respect more as a player and as a person than Donald Brown. Donald Brown understands his role and he’s a professional and we’re just going to keep moving forward.”
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