Trent Richardson did the conference call with the Jacksonville media today in advance of the Colts-Jaguars game Sunday.
Almost all of the questions for Richardson were about last week’s trade from the Browns — and Richardson had some interesting things to say, including that he sees “people enjoying their jobs” with the Colts and that the Browns coaches had promised him more carries before the surprising trade.
Below is the transcript of the call distributed by the Colts, picking up three questions in.
How different is the atmosphere? Cleveland where they’re rebuilding and Indy is coming off a playoff berth – can you tell in the locker room?
“Yeah and the atmosphere here with the players is way different. It’s much cooler, much family vibe, people actually come to work and are just ready to work and have fun. People are enjoying their jobs. I don’t think it’s one guy. I can look to my left and to my right and say that this guy is not trying as hard or he’s not giving it all to him because these guys will get onto you about that and make sure you’re working.”
Were some guys in Cleveland not giving their all?
“I can’t say that they weren’t giving their all but there were times that it was a Wednesday or it’s a Monday or something like that. Sometimes you have a mindset saying you don’t want to go to work today or something like that. I’m not saying these guys don’t get a day off but here you can just hear the different vibe with the family and the brotherly love here.”
How has the transition been for you personally? Did you have a house in Cleveland?
“Yeah, I had a house in Cleveland. It’s tough. I’ve got a family and a house in Cleveland so I’ve got to put my house on the market and I’ve got a find somewhere to stay here even if I’m just going to lease for a year. With the process of moving and stuff like that and the kids and their school was the biggest concern to me because anywhere I go I know I can play football. It doesn’t matter. It’s a process with the kids. I’ve got a first and kindergartener and I’ve got a son that’s going to be a year next week. With saying that I’m not there and we’re planning a birthday party for him for the big “one” and it’s difficult trying to see them at the same time. For the first two games that I have here are two away games. I actually had a (luxury) box in Cleveland too so getting all of that stuff cancelled out for the rest of the year and I can’t get a box here because they’re all sold out. It’s been difficult.”
Were you disappointed with the way you found out that you had been traded? That’s weird having a friend call you?
“Yeah it was weird. I was very surprised and disappointed. At first it felt like they just really gave up on me. I thought I was doing all I could to be a Cleveland Brown and I get traded. I heard that and I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ One of my friends called and I was like I’m not getting traded, what are you talking about? Then when I turned up the radio it was breaking news that ‘Trent Richardson has been traded to the Colts.’ I’m just leaving a complex and just got done ice bath and stuff like that and trying to take care of my body and getting ready for the next week. Later that night I was flying to Indy to do my physical the next morning and get ready to be a on the practice field.”
You never saw it coming in Cleveland?
“No, none of that. I was pretty good people there with everybody and everybody was always turned to me when it was coming to games on the line or needed advice on certain stuff. I thought I had built up enough chemistry with the players that we had enough respect for each other that they could come to me and say anything. I was on a leadership group, a captain group, whatever they called it. The coaches and I were good and they were telling me that we are going to get it done and we will get you the ball more. I was just telling the coaches it didn’t matter, let’s just win and get that win first. It doesn’t matter about the carries. I just want to win, that was the big issue and the big point of emphasis I tried to make every week.”
Do you feel like you went to a place that’s closer to winning?
“Oh yeah. It’s funny because the rebuilding year was last year and we still have a young group. We have our vets and stuff too. Our vets lead like no other leaders. They do a tremendous job with it but here you’ve got Luck and me and then you’ve got guys like Dwayne and you have our other tight end. We’ve got young guys and a young coach here. People don’t realize how much Indy has been a Pro Bowl system with the backfield when you’ve got Marshall Faulk coming from the same system, the same program, you’ve got Edgerrin James, Joseph Addai, so Peyton Manning always had a good running back.”
I know going to the Colts worked out well but it hurt your pride that a year later Cleveland doesn’t want you?
“I look at it as this, as far as me having a chip on my shoulder and saying with that I kind of felt like they gave up on me. They hurt my pride because I know I can play football and that’s always been my dream. I’m going to keep my head up high and put that behind me. Now, they asked me if I would ever go back to Cleveland? That’s tough to come about but I figured on an up and coming basis that I would be there longer and I would have been there longer. It played like it played and it’s probably the best move ever for me. I don’t know about on their end. It might be, but on our end I think it’s one of the best moves ever that they would make for me.”
Because you went to a winning team?
“Yeah, a winning team with a winning coach. Ahmad Bradshaw took a big load off of me. Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, the offensive line, it’s a big load being taken off of me. When you don’t have to play behind you can really get the touches that you really want to to fill out the game. We’ve got a two headed monster like me and Ahmad. It’s crazy. Ahmad had been blessed to be with a team like he was at the Giants with a two headed monster when him and Brandon Jacobs were running the ball.”
Do you feel you have anything to prove because the casual fans across the country wonder why Cleveland would trade you a year later? Is there a problem?
“I think I’ve got a lot to prove because I never want to have that taste in my mouth again. No matter if it’s a good one or a bad one I want to be committed to a team and want the team to be committed to me. On that end I think I’ve got a lot to prove because I was the third pick of the draft, it was a year ago and being a player that I was last year playing with broken ribs and two knee surgeries, so I thought that the harder I went out there they would have stuck by me a little bit longer. I never caused any problems. It’s a business and at the same time with that business trip they just had, I’ve just got to put that behind me and say this never happen again, nothing that I don’t know about.”
It sounds like they were committed to you then this happens.
“I don’t think Norv Turner had anything to do with that. And Chilly probably had nothing to do with that either. A lot of stuff can come from up top and you don’t know why they do stuff. When that stuff happens it just happens. One thing Coach Saban always taught me when I was in Alabama he said, ‘It’s nothing personal, it’s a business.’”
Now you want to be a long term member of the Colts?
“Oh yeah, most definitely. This place here is where I think I want to be home as far as playing in my NFL career. I don’t want to be on another squad, I want to be here for the long run.”
Any particular goals, like leading the league in rushing, Pro Bowl?
“That’s down the line. That stuff is a goal every year. It’s going to come, I know it’s going to come. When it comes it’s going to come big and saying with that it’s a lot of team goals I still have for this team here. A lot of personal goals and at the end of the year I’m going to look at my tablet and see that I reach most of it, and I set my expectations high so if I reach just most of it or at least half of it I’m going to have a pretty successful year.”
How old are your kids?
“Seven, five and one next week.”
Two girls and a boy?
They’re still in Cleveland?
“Yeah, they’re still in Cleveland.”
They must have been shocked too?
“Yeah, it’s kind of hard to explain but I think my kids have been taking it well. They don’t know what’s really going on and they ask why. It’s hard to tell them. I can’t explain it to them because half of it and most of it I don’t really know. I just said Daddy got traded and we’ve got to pick up and move unless you want to stay here in Cleveland.”
How fast will you find a place and get them to Indy?
“We have been fine and we have been looking the last two days and it’s been coming along. I’ve been looking for some places. We should be wrapped up by next week or the week after that.”
You’ve already looked at houses?
“Yeah. I’m not wasting any time. I want to be here and I want my kids to be settled in so I can be feeling at home.”
You hope to make lemonade out of a lemon of a situation then?
“Oh yeah. Freshly squeezed.”