Is Richardson Ready?
This story originally published on theOBR.com

OBR Senior Browns Reporter
Posted Sep 1, 2012


With Sept. 9 rapidly approaching, the Browns are optimistic rookie running back and first-round pick Trent Richardson will be ready to play.

BEREA, Ohio—There was a Trent Richardson sighting Saturday in Berea.

One of the most positive signs for the Browns was the fact that Richardson was seen out on the practice field for the first time since having arthroscopic surgery on his left knee. He was on the stationary bike during the 15 minutes the media was allowed to observe practice.

Pat Shurmur has maintained that he is optimistic that Richardson will be ready for the season opener against the Eagles on Sept. 9.

“I’m pleased with what he’s done behind closed doors,” Shurmur said. “He’ll be out (at practice) soon, very soon. I’m very optimistic.”

Shurmur was asked if he’ll be able to play if he hasn’t played a down in the preseason.

“If he’s ready, he’ll play.”

Shurmur said he will do through simulated tackling drills, if need be.

“He’ll go through tackling drills to try and simulate (being hit),” he said. “He’s making really good progress.”

GM Tom Heckert feels the same way.

“I watch (Richardson) every day out my window,” he said. “He looks really good. I’ll let Pat decide on when he plays.”

Heckert was asked if he thought the team should be cautious with bringing him along.

“What is caution? Five carries, six carries or 10,” he said. “I think there will be some (caution) but if he’s ready to go, he’s ready to go.”

Heckert admitted that it would’ve been best if Richardson could’ve played in the preseason.

“It’s not the best situation (not having played) but if he gets to practice, we’ll see,” he said. “It’s different now because there is no hitting (in practice). It’s more running and learning the plays.”

Richardson was not available to the media after practice, but Heckert thinks if anyone can play without preseason time, Richardson would be the guy.

“This kid is a little different cat,” he said. “I think he’s ready to go in terms of being in shape.

“It’s not the perfect world, but that’s what we’re dealt with,” he said. “We’d like to have had him take some reps (in preseason), but we’ll know next Sunday.

“What we’ve seen, I’m not worried about that.”

Notebook

Colt Fine at 2: QB Colt McCoy said all of the right things a day after he was still with the Browns after the release of QB Seneca Wallace.

“I’m glad to be a Brown,” McCoy said. “But it doesn’t change my job. I’ll go out and compete and be ready to play and help make the Browns to be the best team we can be.”

He said he appreciates the fans of the Browns.

“I appreciate the fans,” he said. “I love it here. My family loves it here. The fans have always been good.”

McCoy said he has been a backup before, while as a red shirt freshman at Texas and as a rookie with the Browns.

“I’ve been a backup before,” he said. “It doesn’t change my attitude, heart and drive.”

McCoy said he knows part of his job is to make sure that Brandon Weeden is ready.

“I will make sure that I help Brandon,” McCoy said. “That’s part of being the backup.”

McCoy said contrary to some people’s opinion, he and Seneca Wallace had a good relationship.

“Seneca and I have been great,” he said. “I can say nothing but good things about him. He set a good, professional example. It’s sad to see him go.”

Shurmur said that the quarterback decision was based on play on the field.

“I went into this with an open mind,” he said. “All the quarterbacks I saw great improvement from last year. Everybody earned their spot.”

Heckert said that McCoy had a great preseason.

“Until the last game, Colt played well,” he said. “Nothing against Seneca, he played well. We had to make a decision and Thad (Lewis) is a guy we like and if something happens, we’d like to have him around.”

Heckert was asked if the team is looking for a veteran quarterback.

“I think we’re pretty set there,” he said. “I’ll never say never, but I feel pretty good (about the quarterback position).”

Heckert was asked about the rumor that the Browns might be interested in quarterback A.J. Feely, who was recently released.

“A.J. is a guy I know, but I don’t know where that came from,” he said. “I haven’t talked with him in months.”

Nothing on Haden: Heckert said the team has received no news about the possibility of CB Joe Haden being suspended.

“We don’t know,” he said. “And if I did, I couldn’t talk about it.”

Watson Back: TE Ben Watson was on the field practicing after missing the preseason with an undisclosed injury. Heckert said he has been out with a quad injury and it has nothing to do with the concussions he’s had in the past.

Fujita Suspended: LB Scott Fujita was placed on the suspended list by the commissioner and he will not be able to practice with the team until he serves his three game suspension for his part in the Saints’ Bounty scandal.

“As far as we know, he’s suspended,” Shurmur said. “He had to vacate the premises.”

More Moves: The Browns waived DL Scott Paxson (knee) and DL Brian Sanford and claimed two players off of waivers. They signed LB Tank Carder from the Bills. He played collegiately at Texas Christian and was drafted in the fifth-round by the Bills. They also signed DL Ishmaa’Ily Kitchen from the Ravens. He played collegiately at Kent State after playing his high school football at Youngstown Cardinal Mooney.

Paxson will be placed on injured reserve after clearing waivers. LB Marcus Benard, DB Antwuan Reed, DL Auston English are now on injured reserve after clearing waivers.

With the addition of Kitchen and Carder, the Browns now have 15 rookies on their 53-man roster.

Injury Update: On the bike besides Richardson, were DB Ray Ventrone (hamstring), DL Phil Taylor (pectoral), DB Dimitri Patterson (ankle), TE Jordan Cameron (undisclosed) and RB Chris Ogbonnaya (ankle). Not seen apost practice were OL John Greco (undisclosed), LB James-Michael Johnson (oblique) and LB Scott Fujita (suspension).

“(Johnson) has a side injury,” Shurmur said. “He’s doing rehab and I’ll call him day-to-day.”

Heckert said Johnson’s injury is more painful than anything.

“It’s nothing serious,” he said. “It’s a pain thing, but it’s going to be a little while. This is really day to day.”

Practice Squad: The Browns re-signed 7 players that were with the Browns during training camp to the practice squad: DL Ronnie Cameron, FB Brad Smelley, OL Jeff Shugarts, OL Jarrod Shaw, OL Garth Gerhart, WR Josh Cooper and LB Ben Jacobs. The final spot was taken by LB Solomon Elimimian.



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