Back during Super Bowl week, Colts tight end Coby Fleener stood up for Trent Richardson, saying it's far too early to write off the running back after he struggled to learn Indy's playbook on the fly.
"I think part of it is you're coming into an offense that's probably one of the most complex in the NFL," Fleener told Around The League. "And so for him to play a week after being there was impressive because it took me a year and a half to learn the offense."
Richardson insists it won't take him nearly that long, telling the the team's official website Wednesday: "I remembered the playbook last year. I know it now."
Time will tell. Richardson was at his best last season when the Colts unleashed him in open space, giving him room to flash the burst and power he was known for at Alabama. Those moments were rare, though, as he too often appeared indecisive behind his blockers.
His 458 rushing yards at 2.9 yards per clip raised more questions than answers, but Richardson claims the offense has become more instinctual, saying: "It's much easier and it's slowing down a lot, so it's making the game much better for me."
These are the springtime reports we expected. The Colts remain locked on the concept of Richardson as their bell-cow back, but what we witnessed last season can't be chalked up to playbook issues alone. T-Rich is under the gun to turn it around in a hurry.