Richardson has 250 yards in seven games with the Colts. His 2.8 yards-per-carry average in Indianapolis ranks with the worst running backs in football. But if the wildly uneven Colts could do it all over again, they tell NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport they would still make the same trade.
"He's young. They love the violent way that he runs. Plus, he's cheap. The Browns are picking up a ton of his tab. ... He's had several head coaches, he's had several offensive coordinators. The Colts really think that once he immerses himself in their offense, he's going to go off."
This sounds like excuse making. Plus, what else are they going to say?
Still, there's no denying that Richardson looks uncomfortable. NFL Media's LaDainian Tomlinson said that Richardson doesn't trust his offensive line and doesn't look like he has a strong grasp of the offense.
NFL Media columnist Michael Silver said that former Colts running back Edgerrin James has been mentoring Richardson in recent weeks.
"Listen, this kid's going through a lot," James told Silver. "His family is coming to town, he's adjusting to a new city and it's a new offense. Give him an offseason, you'll see him roll, you'll see the guy that everyone fell in love with out of Alabama."
The Colts don't have an offseason to wait. They are in position to make the playoffs this year. They can spin it any way they want, but it has to be deeply disappointing that Richardson is getting outplayed by Donald Brown. Running back usually is the easiest position for young players to pick up. That's part of the reason why the Colts felt confident in acquiring Richardson in the middle of the season.