"We did not bring him in here to be the water boy," Pagano told reporters Thursday. "He'll be ready to go, as much as he can handle."
The message was clear: The 49ers' defense should prepare to see a heavy dose of the second-year pro who, just days ago, loomed as a centerpiece of the Cleveland Browns. Richardson went from playing with Brandon Weeden in a muddled offense to teaming with Andrew Luck in Pep Hamilton's versatile attack.
Richardson admitted Wednesday that he first heard about the trade, of all places, from a radio report:
"I turned on the radio and all of a sudden I heard," Richardson told WOIO-TV in Cleveland. "I can't believe it. I didn't see it coming from anywhere. I had a good relationship with everybody. But I guess it's the best move for the Browns. At the end of the day, it's the best move for both of us, I guess. I wanted to be a Brown, I didn't see it coming, but at the same time, I'm a Colt now, so now I've got to move on and get ready for Sunday's game."
"We're trying to build something special," Pagano said. "We're trying to build a monster here."
Richardson, by the sound of it, will help right away.