Colts OC looking to get Trent Richardson in space more often

11/2/13 in NFL   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

75 carries, 228 rushing yards, 3.0 yards per carry, two touchdowns, two catches, and 19 receiving yards - those are Trent Richardson's numbers through five games with the Indianapolis Colts. When the Colts sent a first-round pick to the Cleveland Browns to acquire Richardson, that is certainly not the type of production that the organization had envisioned for their new feature back. Richardson, however, has loads of talent, so perhaps his struggles are at least partially a result of the way he is being used.

Blog Photo - Colts OC looking to get Trent Richardson in space more oftenRichardson is an explosive, powerful runner, so it is reasonable that a coaching staff would want to use him to pound the ball down the throat of opposing defenses. The Colts, however, do not have strong run blockers on the interior - especially since Donald Thomas went down with a torn quad. The offensive line is not really built for a smashmouth style of offense. Nevertheless, 50% of Richardson's carries (and 48.6% of his total touches) have come between the tackles during his time in Indianapolis.

Thanks to Richardson's dynamic skill set, the Colts should be able to find other ways to make him effective if the hard-nosed, between-the-tackles approach is not working. Richardson also excels in the passing game, as he caught 51 passes as a rookie with Cleveland in 2012. For whatever reason, the Colts have targeted Richardson just seven times since he arrived in Indianapolis.

Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton seems to have finally come to the realization that he needs to find more ways to get Richardson involved. "I have to do a better job of finding ways to get Trent out in space," Hamilton said. "I have to do a better job coming up with schemes that not only give our offensive line a chance to be successful, but of course create holes for Trent and create schemes that compliment his wealth of talent. That's one of the things that we spent time as an offensive staff looking at during the bye week."

Hamilton is a highly regarded offensive mind, so he should be able to put a running back with Richardson's skill set in plenty of positions to succeed. During their Week 8 bye, the Colts players had the week off, but Hamilton spent the week coming up with ways to capitalize on Richardon's exceptional abilities. Hopefully, Hamilton's new ideas will help Richardson finally get going, as he is one of the most exciting players in the league when he has space to get a full head of steam.

Though Richardson has been a monumental fantasy draft bust to this point in the year, he is worth looking into as a buy-low trade candidate. His stock can not really get much lower, and he remains the lead back in a strong offense that just lost its top weapon in the passing game. It's been a long and tedious road for Richardson owners, but last year's third overall pick may become a very nice fantasy option down the stretch of the season.
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