Running back Trent Richardson reflects on the first year of his trade to the Indianapolis Colts from the Cleveland Browns.
It's been a little over a year since Trent Richardson was traded to the Indianapolis Colts.
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Colts.com writer Kevin Bowen wrote about the anniversary of Richardson's trade on Sept. 19:
"At 6:19 p.m. EST, the deal became official and Trent Richardson was heading to Indianapolis in exchange for a first-round draft pick.
"The shockwaves were sent across the NFL, and probably no one was as surprised as the man heading to Indy himself.
"'This time last year I was just getting in this morning getting a physical and trying to meet new people,' Richardson said on Thursday, the one-year anniversary of the trade.
"It was like, 'How did I get traded? What did I do to get traded? I can't believe I'm a Colt.' It didn't even hit me until the second game when I was in Jacksonville, like, 'I'm actually a Colt.' I never thought I'd be playing for the Colts. It's always been a dream watching Edgerrin James, watching the great running backs, Marshall (Faulk), come through. Watching those guys, it's always a dream to be a Colt. So when I finally got here, I was like, 'I still can't believe that I'm a Colt.'
"Richardson arrived (at) the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on a Thursday morning prior to Week Three.
"That Sunday, he plunged into the end zone on his first carry in a Colts uniform.
"The No. 3 overall pick from the 2012 draft admits that at times it was overwhelming last year feeling like the game of catch up was never going to end.
"'How I feel now is way different than I felt a year ago. It was so much confusion. It was so much,'I need to know this, I need to know that. I can't study the other team, I just need to study my playbook. I just need to know where my eyes need to go. I need to try to listen to these calls so I can know this, know that,' Richardson says.
"'It was just so different with me just trying to learn, learn, learn. It wasn't really learning, it was like I just need to know, know, know, know. There wasn't any time to catch a breath. There wasn't any time to say,'Whew, I'm a Colt.'
"Standing in front of his locker room on Thursday afternoon, Richardson can now breathe a little.
"The fumbles from Monday night were still eating at the Colts running back, but he did one of his best games as a Colt from a yardage standpoint.
"With a 169-yard output against the Eagles, the Colts put together their best ground performance since Richardson's first game in Indianapolis.
"Can that snowball from here?
"'I'm going to run hard consistently, and now to me it's just playing consistent,' Richardson says.
"'It's just me preparing and doing what I can do, just like I was doing a few minutes ago. Me and Ahmad (Bradshaw), we were running wind sprints after practice, we just ran 14 of them. That's one thing we say we're going to do, we're going to be in better shape. We're not going to get fatigued. We're going to do everything we can to put the team on our back.'"
The Indianapolis Star's Curt Cavin also looked back on that day when Richardson donned Colts blue and white for the first time:
"Thursday, Richardson stuck to many of the same things he's said over the past 365 days: That the trade caught him by surprise and shook his psyche. He recalled a friend calling to say he'd been traded; that was news that seemed bad.
"'Get off my phone,' he told the man.
"Richardson turned to the car's radio; it was true.
"Soon, former college teammate Josh Chapman, a Colts defensive lineman, was calling from Indianapolis. Bradshaw called him, too.
"'I was just leaving the (Browns') complex,' Richardson said. 'I went through a full day of practice; it was like a regular day. I (was) trying to psych up the guys (to play) Minnesota, and that was exciting to me.'
"The Colts official on the other end of the line was excited to have made the trade, but Richardson couldn't hear that. His inner voice spoke of the doubt the Browns apparently had.
"'I was just shocked,' he said. 'They were asking me if I was ready to be a Colt and I'm like, 'Hold on, let me breathe, let me tell my family.'
"The next morning he wore a blue practice jersey, and the expectations of being traded for a first-round pick grew by the day.
"The whole last year I was wondering why I got traded, how did I get traded?' he said. 'I felt like I was one of the best on the field (in Cleveland), and I felt like I was giving it my all. I just didn't understand.'
"Today he does. It was a business decision for the Browns and the Colts. Both wanted a different direction for their offfense and the Colts, for better or worse, have it.
"Now it's time to see if Richardson, along with Bradshaw, can from the type of 1-2 backfield punch -- Richardson calls it a '1-1 punch' -- that will open the passing lanes for Luck and his receivers.
"Hamilton noted that a strong running game brings 'a few (defensive) guys on the back end' closer to the line of scrimmage, which gives the route runners more freedom.
"Richardson is just 23 years old, but his professional time to shine is ticking. He spent the night a year ago praying with his family. Thursday, he reflected.
"'I had to take it in and move on,' he said. 'There's on pity story in the NFL. Fans don't care about that; media don't care about that.
"'You're still a footbal player at the end of the day.'
"This one still has big expectations."
The 24-year-old Richardson is in his third NFL season. He has amassed 1,669 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns in 34 career regular-season games for the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts, per ESPN stats.
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