Browns running back Trent Richardson didn’t necessarily say he was going to change his running style.
But something is definitely different.
Richardson, one of the poster children for the new crown of the helmet rules, said he can’t worry about possibly being penalized.
“I’m not saying I’m going to switch up my running style, but I’m going to do whatever it takes to not hurt nobody else or not to injure myself, either,” Richardson said, via Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “So if I get flagged, it happens. It’s a split-second decision.”
What he’s more concerned about is keeping himself well.
Richardson indicated that because of injuries (left knee, ribs), he wasn’t able to look like himself last year, when he gamed 950 yards on 267 attempts, looking very ordinary in the process.
“I feel great,” Richardson said. “I wish you could watch the whole practice. I’m out there flying around. I finally feel skinny without all them big pads [to protect the ribs] on me. It’s easy to breathe. I can sleep at night. It’s a fresh breath on me. . . .
“It was tough, man [last year]. There’s a lot of stuff I didn’t say and I don’t know if I can really say it now. There would be times I really couldn’t get going up until like Friday and I had to be out there Sunday. I can’t wait ’til this year. I think there’s going to be a big smile on everybody’s faces after the games.”
New Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said Richardson was “quicker than what you see on tape.” New offensive coordinator Norv Turner is traditionally good for backs, which creates the possibility of better numbers.
But that will depend on Richardson staying well, and not getting repeatedly flagged for using his head as a battering ram.