The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Sports

September 29, 2013

Colts' Richardson must get up and running

INDIANAPOLIS — Ready or not, Trent Richardson's time is now.

That was the message sent by the Indianapolis Colts on Friday when the team announced seventh-year running back Ahmad Bradshaw will miss today's game at Jacksonville because of a neck injury. Former starter Donald Brown will see some playing time to give Richardson a rest.

But head coach Chuck Pagano made it clear the former Alabama star will be asked to increase his workload in just his second game since being traded by the Cleveland Browns.

"He's got no choice," Pagano said. "He's got no choice. Those guys have done a great job. (Running backs coach) David Walker is a great football coach and a great teacher. He did an unbelievable job getting Trent ready for last Sunday, and he'll do the same for this week. Between him and Donnie and the rest of the crew, we'll go down there and hopefully get the job done."

Coming off a 179-yard performance against the San Francisco 49ers, the Colts' rushing game is facing a Jaguars defense that has allowed 503 yards on the ground — the most in the NFL this season.

Richardson said he's been buried in his playbook since arriving in Indianapolis on Sept. 18, and he'll lean on quarterback Andrew Luck and Brown to help answer any in-game questions. He played in a similar scheme with the Browns and rushed for 35 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries in his Colts debut last week.

"I've been learning the game plan every day and sticking my face in that playbook two hours after practice, an hour before practice, at the meetings and stuff," Richardson said. "I've been studying hard. So I feel like that workload, I'm ready to go for it. Whenever it's time they call on my name, I'm going to be ready to go."

Indianapolis (2-1) is hoping it can say the same as a team.

The Jaguars (0-3) stunned the Colts last season at Lucas Oil Stadium with a late score in a 22-17 victory. It was one of just two victories on the season for Jacksonville, and it ultimately cost 11-5 Indianapolis the AFC South championship.

In part as a reminder of that slip-up, Pagano left mouse traps throughout the locker room this week at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The message was unmistakable: Don't get caught overlooking this opponent.

"Oh, we definitely respect them," Colts left tackle Anthony Castonzo said. "They're a division opponent. They know us, we know them. It's always a hard-fought battle. We definitely are not taking them lightly. We're respecting them, just as you should any NFL team."

Among the chief reasons for that respect, Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew. A notorious Colts killer, he did not play in Indianapolis' 27-10 road victory last season.

During the Jaguars' upset victory at Lucas Oil Stadium, Jones-Drew rushed 28 times for 177 yards and a key touchdown that got the team back into the contest early in the second half.

He's been hobbled this season with an ankle injury and officially is listed as questionable for today's game. But he's been playing through the injury and leads Jacksonville with 115 rushing yards through three games.

The Colts, as usual, expect nothing but his best.

"He's built like a fire hydrant, runs like a shorebird," Pagano said. "Tree trunks for legs, never stops churning, powerful, powerful guy. We know what type of runs he excels at. Our guys are fully aware of what he can do, and we got to do a great job and be disciplined on defense. Everybody's got to be on the same page, and then we got to gang tackle. We got to get as many hats on him as we possibly can."

The job won't be as easy without defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois — who is out with a groin injury suffered last week — and safety LaRon Landry — who will miss his second straight contest with an ankle injury.

Delano Howell — who had four sacks and two pass deflections in his first NFL start against the 49ers — likely will go again in place of Landry. Fili Moala or Ricardo Matthews will start in place of Jean Francois.

Indianapolis expects to have all of its offensive weapons except Bradshaw. And wide receiver Reggie Wayne, in particular, has enjoyed playing Jacksonville over the years.

He has 1,856 receiving yards and averages 14 yards per catch against the Jaguars for his career. But the only thing Wayne is concerned with today is a victory against an AFC South rival.

"We know if we take care of the division, it guarantees us a spot in the playoffs," he said. "You want to crawl before you can walk. So we want to take our division. We know that division games, basically they count double because it's a division opponent and it's also an AFC opponent. We want to make sure we take care of that first."

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Elwood, Liberty Christian advance in county softball tournament The 2014 Madison County Softball tournament got off to a wild start at Liberty Christian on Wednesday night as Elwood and the host Liberty Christian Lions advanced with victories.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPT - HB0417 - Nick Muller - 05 Bulldogs, Indians impress in openers Lapel and Anderson have very different histories in the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • SPT - HB0417 - Pendleton v Mad Grant 2 Eagles, Arabians move to second round Frankton got off to an uneven start, falling behind 4-3 and 6-4, but rallied for a 14-6 triumph over Alexandria in the first round of the Madison County Softball Tournament here Wednesday. In the second contest, Pendleton Heights topped Madison-Grant 2-1 in a game where both runs and hits were at a premium.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • Rick Bramwell: Improving weather should aid morels When I looked at my wilted daffodils Tuesday morning, I knew this would be a setback for morels. The long-range forecast through April 29 calls for near normal temperatures and above normal precipitation. This is good news for the blacks and grays.

    April 16, 2014

  • SPL - PT041014 - Ken de la Bastide column - Ken sig Ken de la Bastide: Hunter-Reay's blunder proves costly A lack of patience cost Ryan Hunter-Reay and teammate James Hinchcliffe a chance at victory last weekend in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Long Beach.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - HB0416 - tennis file - 14 Many girls tennis teams return top talent With spring sports getting off to a good start thanks to some spring-like weather last week, local girls tennis teams are taking to the court.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wild week will get later start The busiest week on Madison County's high school sports calendar is going to start a day later than expected.

    April 14, 2014

  • Familiar trio leads boys track teams Much like in years past, Anderson, Lapel and Pendleton Heights have assembled the largest number of track athletes of the area’s 11 high schools. And, while the remaining teams may struggle to compete from a team standpoint, they will send capable athletes to the line to challenge in individual events.

    April 14, 2014

  • New roles, same goals for Arabians

    Perhaps the most remarkable fact about the first 13 years of the Nick Muller Memorial Baseball Tournament is that no team has repeated as champion.

    April 14, 2014

  • Track stars prepare for numbers game

    Track is a numbers game, not just with times and distances, but with roster sizes as well. Smaller schools often abandon the philosophy of competing for team titles when running against larger schools with nearly double the number of athletes. Instea

    April 14, 2014