Realty One

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Photo: Matt Lowry/Sask Roughriders
OTTAWA - On a rainy, cold Wednesday in the nation's capital, the Saskatchewan Roughriders held a closed practice at Carleton University. Behind closed gates, former NFL first round pick Trent Richardson was preparing for his CFL debut at running back for the Saskatchewan Roughriders who visit the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday afternoon (2:00 pm, TSN, 620 CKRM Rider Network).

"It's gonna mean a lot," Richardson said of his first CFL game. "It's gonna mean a lot. With everything that's been going on in my life, to look at my kids, we've went through a lot. To be able to get back out there, for the people who said I couldn't do it or was always doubting me, my kids at home, my Mom and a couple other people, they truly believed in me. I can't wait to get that call on game day from them."

So what's to be expected from Richardson in the CFL? He hasn't played a regular season pro football game since 2014. When former NFL rushing leader Ricky Williams came to Canada in 2006 with the Argonauts, he failed to live up to the hype and the experiment fizzled in just a few games.

Roughriders Head Coach & GM Chris Jones is careful not to place too high of expectations on the former Colts and Browns star come Saturday.

"We just want him to be Trent Richardson," Jones offered. "He's always been a 4-yard-plus per carry guy. We're hoping he can get 4.5-to-5.0-yards every time he touches the ball. Get behind his pads, run with power and be sure to protect our quarterback."

Roughriders Running Backs coach Kent Maugeri has spent hours with the Richardson, getting him up to speed on the CFL game. Until last week, Richardson was unaware that the CFL features 12 players on both sides of the ball.

"My expectations are about the same," Maugeri said after Wednesday's practice. "I want 5-yards per carry. I'll take that. Anything more than that is gravy."

As for Richardson himself, he declined to answer what his personal stats goals are against the Argonauts.

"That's personal." the 5'9", 225 lb Pensacola, FL product said. "No comment. I always set personal goals and I set 'em high."

Like Vince Young, Richardson is a big name in American football and there will be a lot of curious eyes tuning into Saturday's game from down south. However that makes no difference to the former Alabama Crimson Tide star.

"That's gonna be ignored," Richardson shrugged. "At the end of the day it's about me. As long as I put God first and play football like I've been blessed too, I just have to play for myself. This is the first time I've ever truly been able to play for myself and to have fun with it. It brings back a lot of old memories and I get to go out there and create new memories."

With Rider leading rusher Cameron Marshall still a few weeks away from a return due to injury, Chris Jones was asked if Richardson will become a permanent fixture in the Rider backfield.

"We'll see," Jones deflected. "You bring good players in when guys get hurt. You see where they fit with your football team. I'm not going to sit here and try to read into the future of what might happen in three weeks. We're looking short term right now and get immediate results."

The Riders will hold a brief practice Thursday morning in Ottawa before bussing to Toronto. They'll hold a walk-through at Varsity Stadium Friday at 11:00 am.



John Knight said...

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Hope everything works out for him and the Riders

Anonymous said...

I hope he does well too but he seems kinda self centered and like he doesn't care about the team. I hope I'm just reading his comments wrong.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit I am anxious to see Richardson in Green and White. He could fill the RB spot nicely until Marshall gets healthy. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Love it! I'm excited to see him give it a shot. I'm thinking 4-5 yds/carry is unrealistic but wth!

Anonymous said...

Anon #2 ... I could see how someone might take him as self ventures with the comments about playing just for himself. However if you were to learn Richardson’s recent past. You would come to know that he had so many expectations put on him from everyone in football and it was hard to live up to those expectations. On top of that all of his so called friends & family leaned on him and spent his NFL money like a bunch of drunken sailors. When he finally realized just how much he was being drained emotionally and financially. He had to remove all the leaches in his life. So it’s imporyant that he does this for himself. He certainly isn’t doing it for the money.

Anonymous said...

to the anonymous user who stated his comments seem self centered. If you watch the video of his interviews, he seems very quiet and unassuming, and quite honestly he might be a bit humbled by his unfortunate nfl days. hes a former number 3 overall pick in the NFL and hes still only 27 so im sure there might be a tiny bit of that ego hiding somewhere, but i dont think hes self centered at all. just a young guy with a family who wants to go out and play real football again.

Anonymous said...

Debuts with 128 yards on the ground, 17 thru the air. Mark it down.

Jimmy in the Jaw

AlbertanDave said...

Since the Riders have lacked a balanced game, any rushing yards over 60 will be worth it. On a side note, I picked him for my fantasy team, so I'm expecting a lot without seeing him.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that's how others see it I was hoping I was wrong I'm sure the I and me talk will fade if he plays well ad starts to get to know his teammates and plays for them and the crest. I'm happy he is here he was a beast at times in the nfl. Played with some bad olines didn't get the chance to shine the way he should have.

CM said...

any guy who was ranked the best rb prospect since Adrian Peterson has physical tools. Cant wait to see him run. Even rusty he will still be more effective than LaFrance.

Anonymous said...

Dude was never a 4+ yard per carry guy in the NFL career avg 3.3 yards per carry. Maybe he gets 4 here given a yard off the ball but I doubt it. On the plus side only 2 career fumbles lost so at least he holds on to the ball.