"Last year, when [Richardson] got here [to Indianapolis, from Cleveland] during the middle of the season, it wasn't fair to him with a lot of stuff that was going on," the 36-year-old James said, according to ESPN.com's Mike Wells. "So I told [owner] Mr. [Jim] Irsay I would come up here during training camp and kind of talk to him and give him perspective on everything he is going through and help him as much as I can."
The Colts acquired Richardson after Week 2 of last season, and he averaged only 2.9 yards per carry in 14 games for Indianapolis. He inevitably lost his starting job to Donald Brown.
Richardson rushed for 13 yards on five carries in Thursday's preseason game against the Jets, including an eight-yard burst on his first carry.
"It was unfair to judge him because it is two different systems," said James, who retired with 12,246 rushing yards in 12 seasons, including 9,226 in seven seasons with the Colts. "The terminology is totally different and he was just kind of thrown out there. You can't really get an assessment because there is so much going on for him personally and the things you have to go through in order to be good in this league. This is the NFL. You can't just sign somebody thinking they can come in and be a star no matter how good they have been. It takes time.
"Now he has a chance to put in the proper time and the proper work and get to know his teammates and know the different plays so he can go out and play like he did when he came out of the University of Alabama."
- Chris Mascaro