Maualuga, Richardson clear the air

BY foxsports • September 16, 2012

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga said he and Cleveland Browns rookie running back Trent Richardson have no beef and that his comments last week about Richardson were taken out of context.

Last week, Maualuga said Richardson "didn't do nothing spectacular" in Week One, when he rushed 19 times for 39 yards in the Browns' narrow loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. That quote made headlines in the days leading up to Sunday's game.

Maualuga's team got the win, 34-27, but Richardson was close to spectacular. After missing the entire preseason and struggling in Week One, Richardson looked like the No. 3 overall pick in the draft Sunday when he ran 19 times for 109 yards and a touchdown and caught four passes for 36 yards and another score.

Afterward, Maualuga said he needed to clear up what was said and sought out Richardson after the game.

"He came out and made a statement," Maualuga said. "He had a good game.

"After the game we shook hands, and I told him the media is gonna take things out of context . . .and make a story out of it. I could say 100 positive things about him and (the media) takes that little tiny negative — not even negative — and make a story out of it.

"We shook hands. We're moving forward. I'll see him in a few weeks."

Richardson shrugged off the comments, though he said after Sunday's game that he used them for motivation.

"We're just playing football," Richardson said. "It don't matter what anyone says."

Richardson looked healthy Sunday and delivered the Browns' first two offensive touchdowns of the year. The two teams play again Oct. 14 in Cleveland, so it won't be long before the Bengals defense gets another look at Richardson.

"I never said he wasn't impressive," Maualuga said. "I would never talk down on a player. The reporter had asked, 'What have you seen out of Trent on film?' Giving credit to Philadelphia's defense that they did a tremendous job and they knew where he was, I myself said, 'I didn't see anything spectacular.'

"If I could take it back, I'd take it back. That's not the right word I wanted to use.

"It was never to take a hit on him. He's a great player. That's what they didn't put in the article, the good things I said about him."