Trent Richardson was more shocked than anyone about his trade to the Indianapolis Colts. On his first day in a Colts uniform, the running back wanted to send a message to the Cleveland Browns fans who were similarly stunned.
"Keep rooting for the Browns," he told them Thursday. "Don't give up on them. ... It's going to happen. It's going to be big, too. They got a program that's going in the right direction. But like I said, I'm here starting a new chapter in my life."
It's a cool, classy sentiment. But Richardson understands he's joined a better team, even if the trade makes some sense for the Browns. He noted the positivity in the Colts' locker room and the attitude around the organization. He suddenly has a true franchise quarterback to play with. In Cleveland, the Browns still are searching.
"We are going to be here for a while," Richardson said about him and Andrew Luck. "We are not planning on going nowhere. We are planning to win a lot of games."
And later: "People can't just stack nine in the box no more. If you stack nine in the box, Andrew's got an arm for you."
Richardson said he wants to be a guy who "puts the team on his shoulders," but he won't have to in Indianapolis. Luck, Reggie Wayne, T.Y. Hilton, Ahmad Bradshaw and Coby Fleener will help Richardson make the Colts' offense dangerous every week. And Richardson has extra motivation after getting traded away so early in his career.
"I'm going to have a chip on my shoulder. And I'm going to play football how I know how to play football," Richardson said.
Once the initial shock wore off, Richardson seemed to recognize the full potential of life as a Colt.