Trent Richardson gets slammed for missing hole against the Rams


Trent Richardson made his Raiders debut against the Rams on Friday night and it wound up looking a lot like a pretty typical outing for the NFL version of Richardson.

He ran five times for 18 yards and wound up as a punchline across the internet thanks to video and freeze-frames that appear to show him bypassing a gaping hole on the left side of the offensive line that led to the end zone in favor of following the flow of the play for a two-yard gain on the more crowded right side of the field. It’s not the first time Richardson has been criticized for missing an opening for a bigger gain and it fits right into the narrative that Richardson’s built for himself through poor performances in Cleveland and Indianapolis.

Those performances likely have more to do with the reaction than the one play from Saturday night. We don’t know exactly what the coaching staff wanted Richardson to do on that play and other angles rather than the damning end zone one linked above make it a lot less clear that Richardson would be strolling for a touchdown due as Rams defenders were filling into the space.

The Washington Post compiled a bunch of reactions to the play from both sides, including a clip of another run from Saturday that shows Richardson doing the opposite and bouncing a play outside for a bigger gain. That doesn’t mean Richardson did the right thing on the run that’s gotten him pilloried throughout cyberspace, but it does mean that there’s not much benefit of the doubt for a player who hasn’t done much to earn it in three NFL seasons.

29 responses to “Trent Richardson gets slammed for missing hole against the Rams

  1. While there may have been some daylight there for a cutback, the Will (backside) linebacker likely has cutback responsibility and was flowing with the play. The left guard clearly pulls around on a sweep to the outside. This play was defeated when the play-side tackle and guard didn’t drive the double team into the Mike (middle) backer.

  2. As a Rams fan I’m used to embarrassing plays and granted this was week 1 of the pre-season but that gaping hole was about as bad it gets for a defensive play.

  3. So everyone saw the hole but didn’t see the unblocked linebacker standing on the other side of it? Richardson isn’t the best back but people are way to hard on the guy.

  4. This article’s Headline “Trent Richardson gets slammed for missing hole against the Rams” could have also worked without the last 11 characters.

    => Trent Richardson Gets Slammed For Missing Hole Again

  5. “Trent, you turned off your targeting device. Is everything okay?”

    I keeeed I keeed. Give the guy a break. It’s pre-season. And besides that, he’s not DMac so he wont hit the turf on EVERY SINGLE FIRST CONTACT, so there’s that.

  6. What? I’m not defending Trent Richrdson, he’s a lemon, but all you people blaming him for missing “that hole” are WRONG.

    The center pulls, leaving a “huge hole” in the blocking scheme. Do you see the mike, #59, bouncing on his tiptoes, waiting to fire his gun? The reason he does not rush forwards is that THE PLAY IS DESIGNED TO GO RIGHT and that hole is his gap. That play was dead.

    If anything, give Richardson credit for pushing it playside and NOT cutting it back, cuz there’s a mike linebacker waiting in that “huge hole” to stuff him.

    Seriously, raise your hand if you think that a play with a pulling center is designed to be run through the gap vacated by the pulling lineman. Those of you with your hand raised please log off and never type another word about football ever again.

    Making me defend Trent F. Richardson, smh

  7. It would be sure be interesting to know what the Raiders saw in Richardson. No one else wanted him! As always, the Raiders move in mysterious ways.

  8. This is all very simple.
    The play was a counter run right. No hole was supposed to be open on the left. So that much is in Richardson’s favor.
    But the right side was clogged up, and a large hole DID develop on the left. A RB with good vision and cutback skills (the kind that we have seen work so well in run blocking schemes) would have taken advantage of what was there. Richardson stuck with the play as drawn. Big minus against him.
    While some have rightly pointed out that there were LBs ready to keep the play from being a huge gain, there is nothing wrong with taking the 5+ yards just waiting for you.

    Richardson was coached when he was young to stick with his play, and at Alabama that worked out well, given the team’s terrific OL. But most any time Alabama played a good run defense in Richardson’s senior year he struggled and was more of a plodding volume back.

    I wondered why such a highly regarded runner looked so ordinary in the championship game…especially when not long after Eddie Lacy looked so much more capable.

  9. He did the same thing in Cleveland while there. No vision at all. The only “Bust” he will have is the one across his draft grade!

  10. Who cares.

    1) If Latavius Murray plays all 16 games the Raiders offense will be vastly improved. He’s the #1 RB.

    2) Roy Helu hasn’t practiced fully yet, he’s a solid backup and 3rd down back.

    3) UDFA Mike Dyer and speedy Taiwan Jones back at RB (along with multiplayer Marcel Reece) will get touches.

    4) Trent and his small guaranteed/incentive laden contract will be cut by preseason game 4…not based on a manipulated media picture, but because he has looked sluggish and slow (with bad vision as well) since he entered the NFL. Busts happen from high draft picks since forever now.

    Trent has one play (that truck helmet down into an Eagles secondary member tackle fail) in his NFL career that stands out, and that play led to the crowning rule, so thats his NFL legacy pretty much.

  11. Everybody who’s defending Trent Richardson notes the MLB standing in the gap. As if that’s a legitimate reason for an NFL power running back to not do his job and run the guy over.

    Think about that for a second. Power running back. Huge gap. 1 LB. Runs into pile of linemen instead.

  12. Trent Richardson is one of the worst RB I have ever seen. Maybe this play isn’t a good example. But time and time again other Colts RB behind the same line looked great.

    2014 Richardson att 159 yd 519 3.3 3td
    Herron Bradshaw att 168 yd 776 4.6 3td

    2013 Richardson att 152 yd 458 2.9 3td
    Brown Bradshaw att 143 yd 723 5.0 6td
    He’s slow, not quick, no vision, not elusive, doesn’t run with power despite his size, no balance or body control.
    just horrible in every possible way

  13. The Colts (Grigson) were stupid to give up a first round pick for T-Rich. Despised that deal from the very first time I heard about it and he never did anything in a Colts uniform to change my opinion. That being said, the picture may not, probably is not, telling the whole story. T-Rich shouldn’t be taken to task for this one play. His entire body of “work” earns him all the negatives directed his way.

  14. He LIKES running into the pile. I think there is something in his head that makes him scared to be takled in the open field, and so he feels safer making contact on his own terms, and try to push the pile for a gain.

  15. I see so many people writing the play wasn’t supposed to be a cut back blah blah. The bottom line is Trent isn’t a play maker, lacks field vision & has no burst. If that was L.Murray it would have been a TD or near on that cutback because he does have burst. Even if Trent would have seen it, doesn’t matter. He will always be 2 yards and a cloud of dust unless its a screen on a 3rd and 20.

  16. “I keeeed I keeed. Give the guy a break. It’s pre-season. And besides that, he’s not DMac so he wont hit the turf on EVERY SINGLE FIRST CONTACT, so there’s that.”

    Clearly, you have never watched T-Rich play. You’ll be longing for the days of Run DMC.

  17. Like everyone else, I’ve got a thought about Richardson.
    I wonder if Trent’s problem is that he’s trying too hard. Is he thinking too much on a play, instead of reacting to the situation as it develops? Or, is he trying too hard to make sure he follows the playbook instead of allowing himself to adjust to the situation?
    Most of all, I hope someone within the organization will take the time to sit down and talk with him (and listen to him) to see if they resolve any issues. Sometimes a person just needs to hear positive feedback (which I’m sure he may have already heard), or be given the chance to open up and talk about the situation from his viewpoint. I’m a Browns fan, from the late fifties, and guess I’ll die a Browns fan….BUT I hope I’m also a NFL fan, regardless of the team. Wish Trent, and all players, the best with their careers.

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