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Colts GM: Trent Richardson needs to 'answer the bell'

Through two preseason games, Trent Richardson's per-carry average of 2.4 yards is even less than the deflating 2.9 mark in his first stint with the Indianapolis Colts last season.

Is the organization's patience starting to wear thin after a series of public declarations supporting the indecisive running back late last season and throughout the offseason?

General manager Ryan Grigson suggested this week that Richardson is no longer on scholarship entering the 2014 season.

"Trent, he needs to answer the bell and do his job to the best of his ability," Grigson said, via ESPN.com's Mike Wells. "We're all accountable here.

"I will say this, there are a lot of backs last year that wouldn't have got (2.9) considering the amount of people he had in that box and the amount of bodies that were hitting him before he even seemed to get the ball sometimes. He's such a hard runner, we know how tough he is, but he's got to produce just like all these guys do on this final 53."

There is evidence to support Grigson's claim about defenses loading the box and the Colts struggling to clear lanes for Richardson last season.

As we have pointed out on the Around The League Podcast, though, Richardson is still moving slowly and stutter-stepping too often at the line of scrimmage.

If there is a silver lining for Richardson's prospects, it's that he has shown glimpses of decisiveness and burst out of the shotgun. As the video to the right shows, he even made a defender whiff through the hole last week.

Coordinator Pep Hamilton is under pressure to maximize the strengths of his personnel and finally put the offense in Andrew Luck's hands with more spread looks this year. If that happens, it will soften the box, working to Richardson's benefit.

The "Around the League Podcast" AFC Season Preview is here. You're welcome.

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