Browns RB Richardson praised by Marshall Faulk

One of Trent Richardson’s goals is to be one of the best running
backs in NFL history, a Hall of Famer like Marshall Faulk.

And Faulk believes Richardson is on a path to greatness.

”He has it in him,” Faulk said about Cleveland’s second-year
star. ”It’s in him to be great. He wants it.”

Richardson and Faulk had a chance to catch up and talk some
football Wednesday after practice. Faulk, who currently works as an
analyst for the NFL Network, was at Cleveland’s training camp to
report on the Browns, who are counting on Richardson to build off
his solid rookie season, when he rushed for nearly 1,000 yards
despite playing most of the year with two broken ribs.

The two backs have known each other for a few years and
Richardson has long admired Faulk, one of the most versatile backs
in league history. During a 12-year career with Indianapolis and
St. Louis, Faulk rushed for 12,279 yards and had 767 receptions for
6,875 yards to goal along with 136 combined touchdowns.

Faulk was elusive, durable and versatile and Richardson would
love to follow in his footsteps.

”I’m trying to get to where he is today,” Richardson said.

Richardson has another Hall of Fame mentor in Jim Brown, who is
back working as an adviser with his former team.

”It’s big having him out here at practice,” Richardson said.
Him, me and Jim Brown on the same field, that’s a powerful field.
That’s a strong moment to have both of them on the field at the
same time.”

It’s interesting that Faulk and Brown (12,321) are only
separated by 33 yards on the career rushing chart. Richardson wears
No. 33.

Richardson first met Faulk at the NFL Combine a few years ago
and the two have stayed in touch since. But even before he got to
know Faulk, Richardson studied the former star, hoping to pick up
something he could use to make his game better.

”I learned a lot from Marshall as far as watching film on
him,” said Richardson, who arrived at camp about 10 pounds lighter
than he was last season. ”When we were at Alabama, we used to
watch a lot of film on Marshall. I still study a lot of his game,
go back and watch a lot of his film on certain stuff that he do.
And I give him phone calls every now and again and ask him what I
need to do better, what I need to work hard on.”

Faulk believes Richardson has everything he needs to
succeed.

”Yeah, it’s there,” he said. ”You saw it in college. It’s the
reason that in a league that they’re starting to kind of devalue
the position, he gets drafted so early. He’s never shied away from
asking questions or letting you know what he don’t know because he
understands that the things that you don’t know when you find them
out, it makes it easier to become great.”

Following practice, Richardson and Faulk filmed a segment
together on the field. Richardson, who had 51 catches last season,
got some tips on running pass routes from Faulk, who was a
nightmare for any linebacker or defensive back to cover when he
came out of the backfield.

Faulk showed Richardson than finer points on a quick route he
mastered.

”He calls it the ”Faulk” route but a lot of people call in
the `angle’ route,” Richardson said. ”He was like the king of it,
he’s still the king of it. I haven’t seen nobody run it like
him.”

Faulk knows the key for Richardson to attain his goals is to
stay on the field. No back has ever broken records or transformed a
franchise while standing on the sideline.

Richardson showed remarkable toughness last year while playing
with his ribs cracked, and there will be moments ahead when he’ll
have to fight through pain to gain yards.

”The position is one that’s it’s not about how healthy you
are,” Faulk said. ”It’s how unhealthy you can play at times, and
that’s what being reliable at the position is. He’s thirsty to not
just get yards and be a good player, but he wants to be great and
he wants to win. He’s a breath of fresh air with the mindset that
he has and not just after having a good rookie season, being happy
with it that he did his job.

”He understands what needs to happen in order for him to be
great.”

Richardson has all the physical tools, and there’s one
characteristic Faulk that he wants.

”Marshall wasn’t that big, but he was that guy on the field
that everybody feared,” he said. ”When I get on that field I want
everybody to fear me.”

NOTES: WR Josh Gordon sat out his second straight practice with
patellar tendinitis in his knee. Browns coach Rob Chudzinski said
he expects Gordon to return in a few days. Gordon did not undergo
an MRI. … Safety T.J. Ward sat out part of practice with a
strained hamstring and safety Tashaun Gipson missed his second
straight workout with a strained shoulder. … QB Brandon Weeden
smacked his throwing hand on Jabaal Sheard’s helmet but stayed on
the field and threw a gorgeous, 40-yard touchdown to TE Jordan
Cameron. … NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will visit Browns camp
on Thursday.