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.