The Herald Bulletin

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Pro Sports

September 19, 2013

Richardson hits ground running in Indy

INDIANAPOLIS — The last time Matt Hasselbeck played with a running back from the University of Alabama, things turned out pretty well.

He and Shaun Alexander led the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl XL, and Alexander was named the league's Most Valuable Player in 2005.

On Thursday, Hasselbeck was introduced to his newest teammate with the Indianapolis Colts — former Crimson Tide star rusher Trent Richardson.

"Hopefully, lightning strikes twice, right?" Hasselbeck said with a wide smile at his locker in the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. "That'd be great."

Richardson's arrival in Indianapolis was the story of the day in the NFL, with reporters from ESPN and the league's own network among the throng descending on the team's practice facility.

Just two games into his second season, the 22-year-old was traded Wednesday by the Cleveland Browns to the Colts for a 2014 first-round draft pick.

It's an unprecedented blockbuster, with Richardson spending just 510 days on the Browns' roster after being selected with the third overall draft pick in 2012. It also gives the Colts two of that draft class' top three picks, pairing the running back with No. 1 overall selection Andrew Luck.

That combination already has Richardson excited.

"We're going to be here for awhile," he said. "We're not planning on going nowhere. We plan to be here, we plan to grow and we plan to win a lot of games."

That's the idea general manager Ryan Grigson had when he agreed to surrender a valuable building block for the running back's services.

Some critics have suggested a first-round pick was too high a price to pay for a running back in today's NFL. They argue the running game has been devalued in a pass-happy league, and good rushers are easy to uncover without a huge investment.

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