Colts won’t change their running back rotation


Statistically, there’s no comparison between the Colts’ two running backs, Trent Richardson and Donald Brown.

Richardson has 96 carries for 272 yards, an average of 2.8 yards a carry, and two touchdowns. Brown has 55 carries for 323 yards, an average of 5.9 yards a carry, and three touchdowns. So doesn’t that mean the Colts should be giving Brown a greater share of the carries, instead of favoring the less effective Richardson by an almost 2-to-1 margin?

Not according to Colts offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton, who says he sees no reason to change the way he’s using the two running backs, with Richardson as the starter and Brown coming in for a change of pace.

We don’t plan on changing our rotation with our backs,” said Hamilton. “We’ve always been a running back by committee bunch, so we’re going to continue to do that.”

Richardson is regularly getting stuffed at the line of scrimmage, but Hamilton says he just thinks he needs to call the right plays to make the Colts run the ball effectively and consistently.

“It starts with me,” Hamilton said. “I got to do a better job of putting our guys in positions to make plays on third downs and we know that our guys will go out and execute. We got to do a better job of just converting third downs early in games.”

But if the plays Hamilton is calling consistently work better with Brown than with Richardson, the problem might be Richardson. And the answer might be Hamilton calling more runs for Brown.

25 responses to “Colts won’t change their running back rotation

  1. I remember when the Colts used Dominic Rhodes as the starter and Joseph Addai as the backup and they had a similar spread that led for everyone to call for Addai to be the starter. The next year Addai was the starter and he averaged 3.X ypc while Rhodes jumped to 5.X ypc on much fewer attempts.

    It’s not the total story here, but I do think there is something to be said for fresher legs running against a defense that’s seen a few series.

  2. Looking back at the trade between Cleveland and Indy it is funny how wrong myself and many other people were. Cleveland without a doubt came out ahead on that trade, and right now Indy and the coaches are in denial because Trent Richardson sucks. Simple as that. Doesn’t matter what team he plays for, or what offensive line he lines up behind.

    Congratulations Cleveland for pulling this trade off.

  3. Richardson is not a smart RB. Its like handing the ball off to a FB. He doesn’t see the holes and always runs to contact.

  4. I don’t see how the colts got robbed they won’t even be close to,giving up a 3rd overall pick for him at the very best the browns will get a late first rounder 25-32 range. Richardson is learning his second offense in two years and came over during week 3 of this season no mini camps or training camp,with his current team. A lot of uneducated sports comments on here. Fact

  5. I feel like Brown’s effectiveness would go down if he were playing the majority of the snaps. The rotation is good as it is. It’s not like the Colts are a run-heavy team anyway.

  6. Sfsugator are you kidding? The Alabama is a system school with the backs that come from it to prove it. What Alabama back has succeed in the NFL? So let’s get back to the trade. What the Colts were hoping is what the Cleveland fans were hoping when we drafted him we would see that complete back. It became apparent that burst is gone with lack of vision made him a average back at best. The Browns recognized that and moved quickly. Remember the Browns made the call first and Irsay took it hook, line and sinker.

  7. Um, its not as simple as “Richardson is still learning the offense”, lots of rookie running backs tear it up.

    Fact is Richardson isn’t very good and the Browns bent the Colts over.

  8. mizzousooner… TR tore it up as a rookie too. But rookies don’t change systems mid-year. That was the point of the other poster, that TR didn’t get OTA’s and mini-camps to learn the offense.

    dabmasterhap… Lacy has been fantastic. But your point is still correct they don’t have successful runners in the NFL. I don’t think Bama is as much of a system school as it is the fact that their offensive line is usually the best in college football. Their backs don’t see those huge holes in the NFL that they enjoyed at Bama.

  9. Donald Brown is what he is. He’s had plenty of chances to be “the man” in Indy and has never succeeded. That’s why they traded for TR in the first place. I do think coming in with fresh legs is helping Brown. If he was “the man.” well… we’ve seen what he can do in that role and it isn’t much.

  10. I’m reserving judgement until next season.

    He’s young, he’s running behind an atrocious offensive line, and he’s shown before that he does possess elite skills.

    I also wonder what effect playing on a successful team has on his psyche since he hadn’t done so since college. There’s more pressure now.

    Not to mention that the Colts don’t exactly nail their first round draft selections anyway so all in all, I’m still happy with the trade.

  11. I’ll say it again, Trent Richardson just isn’t Eric Dickerson and indy paid for eric dickerson. I didn’t think that he would be this bad with indy, but I’m not shocked. Anyone in indy who is still happy with the trade is obviously in denial. You can find this level of production off the street. But what is worse about Trent is the fact that management will feel pressure to get something out of him and won’t simply play the best rb. This is the only reason that they are stubborn about the depth chart. I would rather have bobby Rainey on my team. At least he won’t chirp when he doesn’t get the rock.

  12. They must enjoy being behind badly early in games.. Trent needs big holes (no pun intended) to be successful, holes that this particular O-line can’t get him this season…at this point it’s predictable and nobody respects the colts running game..Yet to the coaching staff this seems like a great idea.. I understand the offense is a shell of what it was supposed to be due to injuries, but at what point do you change up your offensive strategy to fit with the personnel you do have ??

  13. Alfred Morris is running behind a worse Oline then Trent Richardson but yet he is still the 3rd leading rushing in the NFL. Trent Richardson was just very overrated coming out of college.

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