Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) - Cleveland Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson has said from the moment he was drafted that he hopes to follow in Jim Brown’s footsteps.
But Richardson has not forgotten Brown calling him “ordinary” on draft day.
Friday morning at the team’s alumni golf outing, Brown said the comment was blown out of proportion but also meant to motivate Richardson.
“Most definitely I think it was a motivational thing,” Richardson said. “If you talk to any athlete you [have] to say something to motivate them. That’s motivation as it is, just him speaking about me.”
He will get to meet the Browns’ Hall of Famer Sunday afternoon and is looking forward to shaking his hand.
“He’s a legend, he’s an icon so I’m happy to meet him,” Richardson said. “Can’t wait to meet him to hear what he’s got to say to me, encouraging words I know.
“He’s probably going to say something that’s motivating to me and going to make me run harder.”
Brown was impressed with Richardson’s 109 yard effort that included a 32-yard touchdown run at Cincinnati. Brown was blown away when he saw Richardson turn a dump off pass into a 23-yard touchdown while shedding several Bengals defenders.
“Why wouldn’t you love to see a running back make two, three, four or five moves and shed those tacklers,” Brown said. “Because ultimately a running back has to get rid of tacklers without his blockers being a part of it. So I was happy to see him show that kind of talent.
“I saw a flash of the talent and I loved it.”
Tough Guy: Browns special teams ace Ray Ventrone expects to play Sunday after undergoing surgery to repair his broken left thumb.
“It felt pretty good, I had some contact on it,” Ventrone said. “I tested it out a little bit, that way I am not going into the weekend not knowing how it feels, but overall it’s felt pretty good, and I am hoping to be able to play.”
Coach Pat Shurmur said that Ventrone “had a good week of practice” and will detrmine this weekend if he will play.
Ventrone is anxious to get back out there after watching the unit give up an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown to Adam “Pacman” Jones last week.
“I mean it was tough to watch last week running off the punt return,” Ventrone said. “Obviously I am a key guy on the punt team, so I am excited, we’re challenged by Leodis McKelvin. He’s an explosive guy. I’ve watched so much tape this week. I feel confident in our unit.”
McKelvin took back a punt 88 yards for a touchdown last week for the Bills and leads the league with a 31.3 average.
Sack-less Mario: Defensive end Mario Williams was the big splash for the Bills in the offseason after signing him a 6-year $100 million deal in March.
Surprisingly through 2 games Williams is sack-less but left tackle Joe Thomas is expecting that he and Mitchell Schwartz will have their hands full Sunday.
“He definitely an elite pass rusher,” Thomas said. “He’s a guy that can stop the run, he’s one of the biggest defensive ends in the NFL. He’s very difficult to move in the run game. He’s got great speed and he can turn the corner and get to the quarterback.
“I’m sure he’s motivated to get that first sack in a Buffalo uniform. It’s going to be a great challenge for us.”
Alumni Weekend: The Browns will induct running back Ernie Green and defensive back Clarence Scott into the Legends Club during halftime of Sunday’s game against the Bills.
Green, who appeared in 3 NFL Championship games with the Browns, helped clear the way for Jim Brown during the 1964 championship season.
In 7 seasons Green rushed for 3,204 yards and 15 touchdowns while also catching 195 passes for 2,036 yards and 20 more touchdowns. His 4.8 yard per carry average is second best in team history.
Scott played 13 seasons with the Browns and played in 186 games. He made his mark as a cornerback before moving to safety. He recorded 39 career interceptions, was selected to the 1974 Pro Bowl and helped capture a pair of division titles.
Injury Report: OUT – TE Alex Smith (concussion) and LB James Michael Johnson (ribs/oblique); QUESTIONABLE – KR Josh Cribbs (knee), DL Juqua Parker (foot), and DB Ray Ventrone (left hand); PROBABLE – OL Oniel Cousins (ankle), DL Billy Winn (concussion), LB Scott Fujita (knee), WR Greg Little (back) and RB Trent Richardson (knee).