Saturday, June 2, 2012
Jim Brown still doesn't see Trent Richardson as special
Since leaving the game, Brown has never hesitated to weigh in on other running backs. Some running backs he showed appreciation, perhaps even admiration for. The list is short though. Yet there are some running backs that have thrived with varying levels of success and productivity that never impressed Mr. Brown.
I don't personally care which running backs Jim Brown thinks are special. The truth is, he will never believe anyone is or ever was better than himself. I have no problem with that. And with his resume, it's understandable
I have a great deal of respect for Jim Brown and he is certainly entitled to his opinion. I just don't understand why he keeps dragging rookie running back Trent Richardson into the conversation. On NFL Network's Total Access he said that if you take a running back 3rd overall, that he better be an elite runner. He goes on to say that nothing he has seen from Richardson makes him elite.
“When I think of greatness, I think of guys like Earl Campbell and Gale Sayers and Walter Payton, and these individuals who, it’s unanimous they’re going to make a difference — when they’re coming out of college, there’s no doubt,” Brown said. “So at least we have to discuss Richardson from the standpoint of giving him an ordinary label and letting him prove to us that he’s not. And if he does that then I will apologize. But I’m going to look at things, I’m going to stand by things I see, and I think he is an ordinary individual. He has great work ethic and all-around ability. But that special ability that I look for, when I see a Gale Sayers? I don’t see that.”
Now when he is asked for his opinion, he has the right to express himself, but why do we have to keep hearing it? Jim could easily be right or wrong on this one, but why does he feel the need to feed this thing? Yes, if Richardson is going to be a professional he will need to learn to shutout the criticism, or use it as motivation. I just don't see why such an accomplished man and player, like Brown, feels the need to continue to cut down the Cleveland Browns' newest running back.
I hope Jim is wrong, and Trent lives up to his billing. Personally, I am not sold that he can or will. During the months leading up to the draft the hype around Richardson grew to ridiculous levels. I heard comparisons of Richardson that ranged from being a smaller Jerome Bettis to the next Adrian Peterson. I think that Richardson has the ability to become a very good back in this league, but I think the expectations are a too high. He has a good short range burst and runs with good lean and body control. His thick build and compact frame will help him break a lot of tackles, but I am not sure that he will be the sensational player that Browns fans are hoping for.
Now I know this last remark is going to rattle a lot of peoples' cages, but I think Richardson has more similarities to Emmitt Smith than the aforementioned. Unfortunately for Richardson, that's not Nate Newton, Erik Williams, Mark Tuinei, and Larry Allen in front of him.
Posted by Tiger Hebert at 10:57 AM