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Jim Brown: If I’m wrong about Trent Richardson, I will apologize

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The greatest Cleveland Browns running back of them all has been critical of the team’s new top running back. But Hall of Famer Jim Brown says he’s open to changing his mind about Trent Richardson.

Brown said on NFL Network’s Total Access that he thinks if you’re going to take a running back with the third overall pick in the draft, you’d better be certain he’s a truly elite runner. And Brown still hasn’t seen anything from Richardson that puts him into elite company.

“When I think of greatness, I think of guys like Earl Campbell and Gale Sayers and Walter Payton, and these individuals who, it’s unanimous they’re going to make a difference — when they’re coming out of college, there’s no doubt,” Brown said. “So at least we have to discuss Richardson from the standpoint of giving him an ordinary label and letting him prove to us that he’s not. And if he does that then I will apologize. But I’m going to look at things, I’m going to stand by things I see, and I think he is an ordinary individual. He has great work ethic and all-around ability. But that special ability that I look for, when I see a Gale Sayers? I don’t see that.”

It’s a little odd how often Brown feels the need to voice his negative opinions about Richardson, and it’s clear that there’s nothing Richardson can do other than wait until the season starts and prove Brown wrong on the field. If he does, he can expect Brown’s apology.

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42 Responses to “Jim Brown: If I’m wrong about Trent Richardson, I will apologize”
  1. iainrwb says: Jun 2, 2012 6:04 AM

    A motivational ploy?

  2. staffordsyear says: Jun 2, 2012 6:12 AM

    I hope richardson proves him wrong…does jim brown ever say anything positive?

  3. dlc618 says: Jun 2, 2012 6:12 AM

    Brown wouldn’t be as good in today’s game himself. He needs to be a nicer old timer…

  4. joetoronto says: Jun 2, 2012 6:20 AM

    All the best to Richardson, but I wouldn’t bet against Brown.

  5. hooterdawg says: Jun 2, 2012 6:20 AM

    Cue ‘ Grumpy old men’ footage. Brown played in a different era when most defensive players were not as big, fast, and strong as today’s defenses. Even with all the rules changes to protect players in general, little of that applies to RBs who are targets for repeatedly violent hard hits. Durability is the most important trait of today’s RBs, and its too soon to tell how well Richardson will endure the punishment of an NFL career.

  6. joetoronto says: Jun 2, 2012 6:24 AM

    “It’s a little odd how often Brown feels the need to voice his negative opinions about Richardson”

    He was asked about it on NFL Network, I watched it last night.

    If somebody asks Jim Brown his opinion on something, guess what?

    He’s going to give it.

  7. wizskinz says: Jun 2, 2012 6:27 AM

    The greatest Cleveland Brown has spoken! Motivation, tough love, Trent will respond.

  8. seahulk9 says: Jun 2, 2012 6:29 AM

    i think someones a little jealous…..i mean its not the 1950’s anymore and someone is afraid that they are losing relevance.

  9. lks311 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:01 AM

    What did Brown say that wasn’t correct? Brown is saying there’s no “wow” factor when Richardson has the ball in his hand. Very good yes, but great-4th pick overall-must trade up to grab him?

    Juries out.

  10. packattack1967 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:06 AM

    Why pick on a kid starting his career? What an ass you are Brown, truly. This is not your role and it’s no ones role to try and publicly slam a kid starting his dream.

  11. ripster65 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:09 AM

    Why was he asked for his opinion anyway? You know whatever he says is going to be a slam on someone. It’s been nearly 50 years since this guy had anything relevant to contribute to the NFL.

  12. billh1947 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:16 AM

    He is entitled to his opinion,I think he would be just as successful in todays game as he was in the sixtys,he was powerful and fast and the way defensive backs tackle today they wouldnt have a chance to bring him to the ground,he would flatten them on contact,those old enough to have seen him run for the Browns know how good he was be it any era.

  13. wussbasket says: Jun 2, 2012 9:23 AM

    It seems that players who are crowned the greatest ever at their position or sport they are turned into complete butt-holes

  14. garyman1 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:40 AM

    I personally agree with Brown on one point….
    Never draft a running back that high unless you are pretty damn sure he will be a special talent.

    Unlike a QB or left tackle who will give you a decade of performance, a running back has a very good chance of being beat-up after 3 or 4 years. His value and impact will drop.

  15. jimcal229 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:45 AM

    Granted the game has changed and defensive players are bigger,stronger. But with Brown and Payton defensive players didn’t want to get hurt by those two by the fourth quarter,Brown coming at the defender and Paytons high stepping legs punishing. Those two would dominate even in todays game. Brown has always been a tough cookie but I have to agree with him on this one.

  16. silencethecritics says: Jun 2, 2012 9:48 AM

    Cant this “great opinion” be said about anyone coming into the league?.. Basically from what I read he is saying they are only special if they have his stamp of approval.

  17. bass1717 says: Jun 2, 2012 9:52 AM

    Jim Brown was THE GREATEST RB of all time, without question. We was a man among boys. I don’t know why, I guess he is attention hungry, he is saying negative things like that about Richardson. There is no need for it, Richardson never did anything to him or said anything about him. If Richardson ever did say anything about Jim Brown, I would bet that it wasn’t anything negative.

  18. macbull says: Jun 2, 2012 9:58 AM

    A bitter old man with an axe to grind, using the rookie to help settle the score…sad to see how far the once great have fallen.

  19. JaminJake says: Jun 2, 2012 10:12 AM

    It could be a ploy, but given todays game they could have picked up a back later on that would have done the job. There are very few players that are worth a top 5 pick and Richardson doesn’t seem like one to me.

  20. kspinnerjr says: Jun 2, 2012 10:13 AM

    I agree w/ Jim Brown. It’s not like Trent Richardson is Bo Jackson or Barry Sanders. He’s not that caliber of running back. Jim had an opinion just like we all do. I give Jim props for saying that if he’s wrong then he’ll apologize.

  21. seatown12 says: Jun 2, 2012 10:20 AM

    Jim Brown is old school. Old school mentality. He’s as tough as they come. I think he’s being honest. He’s just a hard @$$. I don’t think Jim views what he’s saying is trash talk. Just my opinion.

  22. hatesycophants says: Jun 2, 2012 10:37 AM

    The Old Man is correct. Prove him wrong. Also, Jim Brown would have been great in any era.

    Go Lions! Go Badgers!

  23. ffootballontwitter says: Jun 2, 2012 10:39 AM

    Running backs these days are just as valuable as they were back in Jim Brown’s days, adjusted to 2012 dollars.

  24. doug1grohlin says: Jun 2, 2012 10:51 AM

    Some people can’t handle it when others say something negative. Richardson is an adult and should be handle some criticism. Little Trent should use it as motivation.

    The world is not made of unicorns and rainbows people, stop expecting it.

  25. bigmike7914 says: Jun 2, 2012 11:06 AM

    Trent Richardson doesn’t look exciting, because he’s a patient runner, and he does all the ordinary things a running back does extraordinarily well, he as great strength, he has great change of direction, he catches the ball well, has open field speed, he doesn’t fumble, he’s a great blocker in the pass game,he’s not injury prone, and he’s a good character kid. Adrian Peterson though elite was and still kind of is fumble prone and injury prone, Chris Johnson though speedy and elusive he’s a head case and has durability issues, and is a below average blocker in the pass game at best. Jim Brown played in an era when there were more guys that were plumbers and mechanics moonlighting as football players than there were football players born and bred to play football not saying Jim Brown couldn’t play in this era because I think he could Im just saying he would be hard pressed to dominate like he did. Jim Brown = Steven Jackson….

  26. tigerphins says: Jun 2, 2012 11:13 AM

    The above tactless posters talking about Jim Brown being “a bitter old man”, “jealous of Richardson”, “not as good in today’s game”, and “players needing his stamp of approval” are honestly a bunch of ignorant buffoons.

    He’s the best player the NFL has ever seen and has had a tremendously fulfilling post NFL life, so what’s there to be bitter about? You people realize Richardson would be Brown’s backup, right….. so why would that make him jealous of Trent?

    Just like you idiots are running your mouths bashing a respected HOFer who gives more back to society in 1 year than all you little turds will in a lifetime combined, Brown is entitled to his opinion, especially since he actually dawned the Browns’ uniform and all.

    If anyone is bitter, it’s childish Richardson fans who can’t maturely handle objective criticism of Trent.

  27. raiderlyfe510 says: Jun 2, 2012 11:21 AM

    Jim Brown is keeping it real. there’s nothing special about Trent Richardson. To draft that cat at as a top 5 pick is ridiculous. Holmgren doesn’t know what he’s doing. As proven by Andy Reid. You can get productive RBs for that offense in the 3rd round or even later.

  28. clebrowntown says: Jun 2, 2012 11:23 AM

    JB’s update to his original comments is consistent with the original Tony Grossi interview. When I finished reading the original, I walked away feeling that JB had done quite a bit of qualifying to his purely speculative doubts. The negative farting came from the bloggers/writers who need to generate interest to remain employed.
    I do understand why the old geezer is so negative but hey, you’ll be one too someday…if you’re lucky.

  29. devinmr711 says: Jun 2, 2012 11:26 AM

    Barry Sanders > Jim Brown

    Brown is #2 on my list.

  30. Chris Henry's Wild Ride says: Jun 2, 2012 11:27 AM

    Hopefully he is doing this to motivate Trent. Jim may be an ahole, but he’s not as stupid as you think. Either way, I hope Trent ends up with more rushing yards when it’s all said and done.

  31. jbcommonsense says: Jun 2, 2012 12:22 PM

    I disagree with Jim Brown’s assessment, but the way he converted it into a motivational tool is very cool. I’ll look for Richardson in my fantasy draft [though I rarely draft rookies].

  32. Deb says: Jun 2, 2012 1:40 PM

    Another day in the censorship factory. Nevertheless I think Jim Brown was wrong and will continue trying to say so.

    If I’m wrong …”? You’re wrong because you’re slamming a guy who has yet to play his first down in the NFL. You don’t compare a newly drafted rookie to Earl Campbell and Gayle Sayers. He had an excellent college career and Browns fans are understandably excited about his potential. That’s no reason for a legendary player to pick him apart before his career begins. It doesn’t matter how he performs going forward. You were wrong to behave like an idiot.

  33. dadawg77 says: Jun 2, 2012 2:18 PM

    Brown is either second or third greatest RB, have to go with 34 as number one.
    However there nothing wrong with the basic premises of his comments, you’re nothing in the NFL till you prove youre something, same goes for Luck and RG III.

  34. oldcracker says: Jun 2, 2012 4:01 PM

    Maybe I’m an oldtimer but, Jim Brown reminds me of how I remember my grandfather. Surly acting and gruff talking. Sometimes, all it took was “a look.” He sure knew how to get the most out of us!

    Yes, I think he is skeptical of all of the hype. Every RB is going to be the next Jim Brown or Walter Payton. How many times have we heard this?

    While T.Richardson has always had someone recruit him or bow down and praise the ground he walks…Jim Brown is simply saying, “Prove it.”

  35. andymc58 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:00 PM

    “When I think of greatness, I think of guys like Earl Campbell and Gale Sayers and Walter Payton, and these individuals who, it’s unanimous they’re going to make a difference”.

    Yeah, Payton and Sayers were so obviously talented they played at Jackson St. And Kansas. Let’s at least let Trent run a play at the next level before we decide how talented he is. Why won’t Jim Brown just go away already?

  36. andymc58 says: Jun 2, 2012 7:14 PM

    And Jim Brown is Steven Jackson? Don’t make me laugh. Totally different day. Jim Brown would be more like Frank Moreau, only slower, in today’s game. Yeah, I said it.

  37. spliffbunker says: Jun 2, 2012 8:49 PM

    andymc58 says:
    Jun 2, 2012 7:14 PM
    And Jim Brown is Steven Jackson? Don’t make me laugh. Totally different day. Jim Brown would be more like Frank Moreau, only slower, in today’s game. Yeah, I said it.


    I agree with you…
    of course Jim Beown is also 76 years old

  38. tigerphins says: Jun 3, 2012 1:47 AM

    andymc58 says:
    Jun 2, 2012 7:14 PM
    “And Jim Brown is Steven Jackson? Don’t make me laugh. Totally different day. Jim Brown would be more like Frank Moreau, only slower, in today’s game. Yeah, I said it.”
    Do you have an edible paint chip addiction or something?

    You realize, right, that if Brown were playing today he would have all the modern day advantages (just like Adrian Peterson) not afforded to players 30+ years ago? Do you even think about this stuff before you open your mouth?

    If Brown were that big, strong, and fast back then, he would be a nightmare in today’s game. People wouldn’t be talking about AP, they’d STILL be talking about Jim Brown.

  39. joetoronto says: Jun 3, 2012 6:08 AM


    I couldn’t agree more, the ignorance that’s on display here is amazing.

  40. andymc58 says: Jun 3, 2012 12:34 PM

    “if Brown were playing today he would have all the modern day advantages (just like Adrian Peterson) not afforded to players 30+ years ago? Do you even think about this stuff before you open your mouth?”

    It thought the whole point of saying someone could still play in today’s game is recognizing they were that far ahead of their time that they would still measure up. I didn’t know we were going down this What If path of “modern day advantages” and speculation of how good they hypothetically could be. I guess you could make that argument about anyone. Bottom line is today nearly everyone on defense is bigger, faster, and stronger than Jim Brown, back in his day noone was.

  41. gallogj says: Jun 4, 2012 10:09 AM

    You would think the team was named after him the way he talks!

  42. Wahoo's Wigwam says: Jun 4, 2012 2:57 PM

    Regardless of what you think of Jim Brown’s opinion of TRich, one has to like the attitude he has shown towards the game thus far in practices and interviews.

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