Reporting Daryl Ruiter
BEREA (92.3 The Fan) – A day after the most disappointing defeat of the season, Cleveland Browns coach Pat Shurmur was pretty matter of fact – especially to his rookie running back.
Shurmur met with Trent Richardson to discuss his comments about getting away from the gameplan which Richardson made following the 38-21 loss to the Washington Redskins.
“I asked him what he meant by what he said,” Shurmur said. “I said it’s very important that when we’re all in a state of being disappointed that we lost that we keep our focus on, No. 1, regrouping and getting ready to play the next game.”
Richardson finished with 11 carries for 28 yards and 2 touchdowns after starting the game with 24 yards and a touchdown on his first 4 totes.
Richardson felt he should’ve been allowed to do more.
“I think we’ve just got a game plan and the game plan we had at the beginning of the game, I think we should’ve stuck with it,” Richardson said Sunday after the game. “But we didn’t stick with the game plan, and we tried to do some other stuff, and the outcome came in a different way. I think in the game plan early, we were going to do a lot of inside zone game planning. And we were going to just go off a couple of the draws, and we were just going to do some play-action stuff. And when we did do it, it worked. So we got away from it, and the outcome comes as an L.
“After the first 4 runs I thought it was going to be a good day for the run game. Like I said, we went the other way, and that’s something I can’t control.”
Richardson was especially miffed that he ended up with just 2 carries in the second half.
Monday afternoon, Shurmur tried to explain why.
“They were doing a pretty good job of defending the run on first down, so we tried to throw the football on first down,” Shurmur said. “Now when you don’t have success throwing the ball on first down, then you get a little bit behind. And then part of the problem is we only had  plays on offense, which it doesn’t allow you to do all the things you want to do when you have that few plays.”
Despite Richardson averaging 3.5 yards per carry this season, Shurmur said that he’s not disappointed in the rookie from Alabama.
“I’m not upset with him,” Shurmur said. “Here’s a rookie grinding through and NFL season. He’s far less than 100 percent. I think we handed him the ball twice yesterday and he scored touchdowns. He’s getting in the end zone. He’s one of our leading receivers and he’s got a lot on his plate and he’s battling. Now would I agree that yards per rush should be better? Yeah, but I’m not disappointed.”
Richardson has already broken Jim Brown’s franchise rookie record for touchdowns scored by a running back as well as team records for total touchdowns scored and points scored by a rookie.
He’s on pace to finish the season with 1,500 all purpose yards.
Shurmur feels the future is bright for Richardson, whom many criticize for having yet to develop a consistent running style, once he is healthy.
“I think as time goes on, I think you’ll see him develop a running style whatever it might be,” Shurmur said. “I think there are times when just like a quarterback can have a bad decision or somebody can miss an assignment, I think there are some runs that could be better. But I think that’s part of playing the game.”