Some Colts prep for Cleveland homecoming
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Trent Richardson remembers the day he walked through the front doors of Cleveland's training facility for the first time. He was wearing the suit he had on when the Browns called his name with the third pick in the 2012 draft.
Pat Shurmur, the head coach of the Browns at the time, met him at the door with a big smile on his face, Richardson recalled.
''It was one of those feelings that I didn't think I would ever be playing with another team,'' he said. ''I thought I would always be there and it would be the last team I ever played for. But it happened like it happened.''
The Colts acquired the running back from the Browns on Sept. 18, 2013, for a first-round draft pick - a move that ''shocked'' Richardson. Now, he and three other Colts players are headed to Cleveland this Sunday for a game against a team, and franchise, they know well.
Return specialist Josh Cribbs, who joined the Colts last month as a free agent, signed with the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2005. Safety Mike Adams played for the Browns for five seasons and D'Qwell Jackson was drafted by the team in 2006 before he suffered two season-ending injuries.
Heck, Colts coach Chuck Pagano's first four years in the league as an assistant were in Cleveland.
Cribbs left Cleveland after the 2012 season with a handful of records, including the all-time franchise marks in kickoff returns, kickoff return yards, and return touchdowns. Jackson is looking forward to the opportunity to face his former team, but says there won't be any time to spend with friends and former teammates.
''I'm not going to change what I do,'' Jackson said. ''In the offseason, if I go back, I'll have dinner with some guys, but right now it's a business trip and that's the only thing that's on my mind.''
For Richardson, it's different.
What he thought would be a long and successful career in Cleveland has been everything but what he expected. Things haven't been the same since the Colts acquired him last year and now Richardson is looking for a breakout game this week against the team that drafted him - and traded him.
''They gave up on me,'' Richardson said in a conference call with Browns media on Wednesday. ''I'm going to go into this game like it's my last.''
Richardson has struggled to move the ball in Indy, and the Colts have been criticized for the move and questioned for sticking with the former Alabama star.
Pagano made it clear the Colts plan to rely on Richardson as their starter.
''There's going to be good days and there's going to be bad days,'' Pagano said. ''He's had some days that have been very, very productive and some tough days.''
Richardson totaled 12 yards on eight carries against Washington last week. He had 42 yards against Jacksonville the week before, and finished with zero yards on six carries against New England on Nov. 16.
Lack of productivity? Richardson sees it more as defenses focused on him so much that he can't get into a groove.
''You know what? People have just been stacking the box,'' he said. ''I haven't been getting the looks that I was getting earlier in the season. Now that Ahmad (Bradshaw) is down, people are counting on me running the ball. I haven't been getting all of the same looks as everybody else.''
Richardson says that sometimes defenses are thrown off when they think he's going to run the ball, but Andrew Luck decides to pass instead.
''When it comes down to it, I want to say that I've been doing my job,'' Richardson said. ''Anytime I go in with play-action, somebody's wide open. If they're trying to stop by and Andrew Luck's having a good day or (Daniel Herron) is having a good day, I'm doing good because they're distracted by me.''
AP Sports Writer Tom Withers contributed to this report.