In the days leading up to the Bengals-Browns game on Sunday, Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga said that he didn’t see “anything spectacular” from Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson.
Richardson said that he was using that as motivation heading into the first of this years battles for Ohio bragging rights. It seemed to do the trick. Richardson ran for 109 yards on 19 carries, added 36 receiving yards and scored two touchdowns in the Bengals’ 34-27 victory. Maualuga was asked about Richardson’s performance after the game and had nothing but good things to say about the Browns back.
“It was never to take a hit on him. He’s a great player,” Maualuga said, via Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “That’s what they didn’t put on there, the good things I said about him. And so, you know, he came out. He made a statement. He had a good game.”
That he did. Whether it was because of added motivation or because the entire Browns offense looked better than they did in the season opener, Richardson flashed the ability that made him a high pick in April. Quarterback Brandon Weeden also rebounded well from his four interception outing against Philly. The result was promising for the Browns offense, even if their record is still 0-2.
As for Maualuga, he learned a lesson that most of us have learned from bosses, spouses and others over the years. If you don’t want people to focus on the negative, don’t say anything negative.