Saban, who will lead the Crimson Tide against Notre Dame in the BCS national championship game Jan. 7 in Miami, has been mentioned as returning to the NFL, perhaps with the Browns if second-year coach Pat Shurmur is fired at season's end.
"I can't see him coming to the NFL," Richardson said Wednesday. "I would be very shocked."
And Richardson knows the coach quite well. After all, he was a standout running back for Saban at Alabama before the Browns selected him in the first round of April's NFL draft. Richardson ran for 1,679 yards last season for the Crimson Tide.
"How can you get tired of winning," Richardson asked. "He's got so much going there. He has no reason to leave. He gets what he needs and he treats his program like the NFL (anyway). He makes sure his players are prepared for the game and prepared for the next level when the time comes."
Any exit to the NFL wouldn't be foreign to Saban, who led Alabama to BCS national titles in 2009 and 2011. He left his post at LSU, in fact, to become coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2005. After going 15-17 in two seasons there, Saban went back to the SEC, this time in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
"I can see him staying at Alabama," Richardson said, "and retiring at Alabama."
Saban, who played and coached at Kent State, has Cleveland roots as well. He was the Browns' defensive coordinator from 1991 to 1994, which has helped to spark the speculation.
"I don't believe it," Richardson said. "Rumors are rumors. I don't buy into it, and that's one thing he taught me to do -- not buy into rumors."
Richardson is more concerned with the Browns (5-9) playing the playoff-bound Denver Broncos (11-3) on Sunday. The No. 3 overall pick is 46 yards shy of surpassing Hall of Fame standout Jim Brown's 55-year-old team rookie rushing record of 942 yards.
"I'm ready for a big day," Richardson said. "Anytime Jim Brown's name is mentioned, it is big for me. Huge."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press