Would he be a tall point guard?
There are HUGE differences, before last night, about how they were using each back.
There are a lot of similiarites between him and Nate Davis, who played QB at Ball St a few years ago. Nate was one of the best basketball players I ever played with. Great passing ability, and he was a little bit shorter than Luck but still had that wide body with sneaky athleticism. Nate could also shoot lights out from anywhere inside the halfcourt line. (If you don't believe me, just google the ohio all time HS scorers)
I've seen them run Trent out of single back sets, but not running plays out of the shotgun. I may very well be wrong, I just don't remember any. I know Brown gets quite a few out of shotgun though.
San Diego: Richardson 1, Brown 0
Denver: Richardson 5, Brown 3
Houston: Richardson 0, Brown 3
St. Louis: Richardson 1, Brown 0
Tennessee: Richardson 0, Brown 0
Richardson had 45 carries over that time to Brown's 36 and 7 shotgun runs to Brown's 6. That's pretty close to identical.
Going to their splits, Brown has 19 of his 55 runs graded as middle runs which is the most of any type of run for him. That's where he's been most effective averaging 7.5 yards per carry. Richardson's splits are messed up (presumably because of the trade) so I can't see how his ratio stacks up. But Brown has been running inside the tackles a pretty good amount.
Where are you coming up with this? Not that I don't believe it, just that being that specific it sounds like someone has tracked it, or you've broken down film on it.
Stampedeblue wrote an article, which I've quoted a couple times, where he broke down film on running situations, and he came up with what I'm saying too.
Why is it just Richardson Struggling Running the Ball?
One reason is that Brown looks more comfortable. He looks more decisive and seems to stay more "north and south" instead of "east and west", like Richardson has tried to do at times. Essentially, this means that Brown doesn't wait as long to cut it upfield as Richardson does. Brown is also quicker off the cut and accelerates faster than Richardson. Donald Brown is having a tremendous year after having a dismal first few in Indy, and he has been good enough this year that not only do I think the Colts will re-sign him at the end of the year, but I think it would be a good move - something I never thought I would think coming into the season. We can't ignore the fact that Donald Brown is having a really good year and that is attributed to a variety of factors, including (but not limited to) the fact he hasn't had to shoulder the whole load, improved vision and decisiveness, and an increased comfort level.
All of that said, we haven't hit on the main reason for Brown having so much success while Richardson isn't, and this may be the biggest issue that no one is talking about: the playcalling.
It has become somewhat popular to criticize offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton this year, and a lot of it has been justified, but almost no one is talking about this aspect of it. I think that Richardson is actually doing exactly what should be expected of him given the play calls.
I mentioned earlier that almost all of Richardson's runs are straight up the middle. The Colts don't really hide it - they often run in obvious run situations and in obvious run formations - and instead just try to overpower the defense. They just hand it off to Richardson and tell him to run straight up the middle, with the little variance often coming from Richardson bouncing a designed run up the middle outside.
The truth is this: Trent Richardson is a very good short yardage back. Both of his touchdowns this year have been 1-yard scores, and he has done a good job in the other short yardage situations they have given him the ball in. It is probably his biggest strength and he has certainly done well there so far. Here's the problem, though: the Colts are treating most Richardson runs the same way, regardless of the situation. Lining up in a run formation when the defense knows it will probably be a run and then just pounding the football up the middle? That's what you do in short yardage - when you need 3 yards or less. They are essentially running a short yardage running game no matter where they are on the field and no matter how long it is to the first down, and the results have been about what you would expect from a short yardage run game - 3 yards per carry.
This also answers perhaps the two biggest objections to the offensive line failures being to blame for Richardson's struggles: 1) why is Donald Brown doing so well then? and 2) why did Richardson look so much better with the Browns when they had a bad line too - perhaps even worse?
Here's the answers to those two questions:
1) When Donald Brown is in the game, the Colts often are either in a passing situation or a passing formation - at least much more often than when Richardson is in the game. Quite a few of Brown's runs have come out of the shotgun and quite a few of his runs have been when defenses were expecting pass. That is in stark opposition to Trent Richardson, who has gotten most of his handoffs while Luck was under center and quite a few of them came when the defense was expecting pass. While not taking anything away from Donald Brown, a lot of his runs have been made possible because Pep Hamilton mixed up the formations and play calling a bit. He hasn't seemed to do that near as often when Richardson is in the game.
2) After watching tape on Richardson in Indy and seeing the offensive line struggle so much, I too wondered how he rushed for 950 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry last year for Cleveland playing behind an offensive line that is just as bad as the Colts's line. It was evident just by watching film of the Browns with Richardson (for the first two games this year, too) that they mixed it up a lot more. It wasn't always the best play calling but they still varied in their calls much more than the Colts have and they ran Richardson outside a ton more than the Colts have. They pitched the ball outside to him numerous times in the games I watched a bit of and they helped mask the problem of a bad offensive line by not running directly up the middle of it every single play.
ESPN's play by play tracks when a team is in the shotgun formation which is where I drew the shotgun runs per game from. The splits are from his ESPN player page where it breaks down runs by down and distance, by play direction, by field position, etc.
I'm guessing if you went further back to the games where Richardson had just been acquired that you would get a different story. Brown was playing more of a change of pace guy role back then (I would say 3rd down back, but the vast majority of his runs and success have come on 1st and 2nd down). The Colts have played 3 games since that article was written which is probably where the disconnect is coming from. I would mostly agree with the article that after running a couple of pitch plays for him against the Jaguars, the Colts basically ran Richardson up the middle for 2-3 games in a row. Since the bye, it's been more varied for both Brown and Richardson, but it's been extremely hard to isolate because the Colts have abandoned the running game so early in a couple of those games.
Whoever linked http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-game-h...own-highlights
Look at the push and the holes on those plays. There's rarely times when defenders get into the backfield and hit Brown before the line of scrimmage. Conversely, that's about all TRich sees --- handoff and then 2 defenders flying at him, having already popped the bubble.
BBS at Stampede Blue is such a clown. The site is a tremendous source of information and I read it daily, but the guy clearly goes off of the deep end so that he can get page hits. I wish Josh Wilson wrote all of the articles.
From BBS today:
I don’t like their make-up.
I don’t like the mentality.
I don’t like their soft play.
I don’t like their coaching.
I just don’t like them.
What a clown. Yeah, I don't like the slow starts either. We're going to get bounced out of the first round if we don't fix them. But for Christ's sake, two of the slow starts were on the road against division teams that were making a last ditch effort to save their playoff chances. Houston and Tennessee always treat the Colts coming to town as if it's the Super Bowl. It was that way during the Manning era and it's going to continue to be that way with Luck. And heck, we lost multiple road division games in the Manning era (0-3 in the championship year), yet we are 3-0 against those teams this year on the road. Road division games are always tough. Thus, we knew that these teams were going to come out hot with their fans behind them. But we were able to persevere and win. Now the massacre against St. Louis was inexcusable, but sometimes that kind of stuff happens in the NFL. It's not as if we never got blown out in the Manning era. This is a league of prideful professionals.
We're 7-3 and are going to freaking win the division with our second year quarterback. We've lost a solid young TE, our LG who we paid big money for as a FA, two very solid running backs, and our HOF WR who was our last offensive anchor to the glory days and acted as as security blanket for our young QB. Yet we just keep winning. It may be ugly at times, but we usually find a way to win and that's better than losing. I understand that there is plenty that needs fixing if we really want to make noise in the playoffs, but let's just sit back for a moment and appreciate what this team has accomplished this season. It just boggles my mind how a Colts blogger say that they don't like a team that has shown so much toughness by beating elite opponents and overcoming obstacles to win tough games. That just reeks of being a "shock jock".
I agree he's doing it on some level for shock value and I agree on some points however I'll take it over Kravitz's double standard. I mean him telling fans not to be concerned. Really? I don't recall him saying this when Dungy/Manning were here.
I mean I feel this team is missing something even despite the injuries but at this point the most you can ask is that they win the division that's all we can control and so far so good.
I agree that there is certainly some big stuff to be concerned about as far as making a deep playoff run is concerned. But to say that you "don't like them"......that's just a bit ridiculous, IMHO. This team has battled brutal injuries, yet is 7-3 and will win the division with a second year quarterback. With the incredible wins they've had this year, they've given us all we can ask for.
That part was OTT but I can understand being frustrated with this team. With these slow starts and then having to come back and win sure it makes things more interesting. But its also not going to work every game.
The team needs to learn to adjust in that regard they don't appear to now of course nobody is complaining that much since we're 7-3 and not 3-7 right now. But we could've been if we didn't have these type of comebacks.
For a team that Irsay doesn't want to live and die by a QB it seems that history is repeating itself here.
If we didn't have Andrew Luck what record would this team have right now?
Probably not a very good one. This guy is beyond special. I love hearing the story about him giving the team a pep talk at halftime. This guy clearly has a ton of clout in the locker room and the players respect him as if he is a 10 year vet. When he talks, you listen because you know he is going to put you in a chance to win.
I hate the slow starts too. Like I said, we'll get burned in the playoffs if we start out slow. But part of the reason for the slow start on the offensive side of the ball is because of the loss of Reggie. Our offense is just severely weakened without him and there is just no way to replace him. I know that lots of teams have suffered brutal injuries this year and I don't expect anyone to send us sympathy cards, but the fact is that this offense has been decimated with injuries with the Wayne one being the tipping point. We really only have two good receiving options right now in Hilton and Fleener. Would this team be starting so painfully slow if it had Wayne, Allen, Bradhsaw, and Ballard? Probably not.
Let's remember that two of these last three slow starts were against division opponents on the road. These games are ALWAYS hard. Our division foes have always treated the Colts coming into town as if it's the Super Bowl. Since the division was formed in 2002, the Colts have obviously by far been the most successful team in the AFC South and it's not even close. We make the playoffs every year and go to Super Bowls, while the other three usually haven't even made the playoffs. Along with the AFC East with the Pats, the South has probably been the most lopsided division since the 2002 realignment. Also, as I mentioned, let's not forget that the 2006 championship team went 0-3 against the division on the road. These games have always been tough, even when we were at the peak of the Manning era. These Mickey Mouse teams in the division obviously envy the Colts and it often makes their season if they can just get one win against them.
Add all of that to the fact that the Texans and Titans were making last ditch playoff pushes at home with intense prime time crowds, and it's pretty easy to see why the start of these games were so difficult. But we adjusted and found ways to win both of them. I'll take ugly wins over losses any day of the week. There's certainly plenty of work to do if we want to make a deep playoff run, but we showed a lot of grit winning both of these games. 3-0 on the road against the division? That's impressive anyway you slice it.
The Rams game was obviously inexcusable, but sometimes those games happen. It's not like we never got blown out in the Manning era. But we picked up the pieces and got a huge road division win.