Richardson, Weeden press conf. transcript - 4/27
(On being in Cleveland)- “Just being here is an honor and a pleasure. To be a part of this tradition that they have here with these great running backs that they have had here and to try to make a name for myself is going to be big. I have a lot of respect to earn and I have a lot to prove. It is going to be a challenge for me and more of a big opportunity for me, especially around this community.”
(On if [he and Brandon Weedon] they knew each other prior to being drafted)- “Like he said, we followed each other. We really didn’t come in contact with each other, but once we did meet each other, we actually trained together down in Arizona. We just hit it off and just gelled down there in Arizona. When it came down to it, we are happy to be teammates.”
(On why he enjoys pass blocking)- “Pass blocking is just fun for me because growing up I was always the shortest. All of my brothers were bigger than me so I had to do something and make sure they stopped beating up on me all of the time. Pass blocking, it just comes natural to me and that it the fastest way to put yourself on the bench, if you do not know how to block nobody and I want to be an every down back. When it comes down to it, if they need me on third down to block somebody or second down to block somebody and even on fourth down to be in the game for special teams, whatever it takes. If they want me to be the PP (punt protector), I am going to be the PP. I don’t want to leave the field and I want to be one of those guys that is always going to have his name remembered in the National Football League.”
(On playing in a pro-style offense with Nick Saban)- “I think it is going to help me a lot, especially with the knowledge that I have learned and gained from being around a pro-style offense. Coach (Jim) McElwain does a real good job of getting us in good position to score touchdowns or to contribute to the team as far as getting first downs. With the offense running back coach we have had, he has been a hard-nosed dude that is not going to take nothing from nobody. He is going to make sure he gets the full potential he can out of you. Coach Saban, that is what he does too and I don’t expect anything less from the coaches here.”
(On if Nick Saban gave him any insight on Cleveland and Browns fans)- “He said, ‘You are going to love the community and the fans are going to be a lot similar to Alabama fans and they love the town and they are waiting for the football team to hit off.’ And he told me you are just going to love being around the atmosphere. It is going to be a lot like home when you are talking about college football. He said, ‘It is probably the closest place you are going to get to where the atmosphere is like college football.’ That is what I am used to and that is what I love. That is why I love to play this game, just the atmosphere and just being around everybody.”
(On his experience playing in cold weather)- “It gets pretty cold in Alabama in October. I haven’t had it that much. It has snowed up there twice since I have been up there. Like I said, football is football no matter what goes. Cold, hot, you still have got to put on your pads. You still have to put on your helmet and you still have to hit somebody, somebody’s got to hit you. Somebody’s got to score touchdowns and somebody has got to kick a field goal. Football is football no matter where I go. I just have got to make sure I get in shape for it and make sure I can be that player that is going to be able to play in that cold weather. When it comes down to it, this league that we are in here is not a league where a running back is not needed. You need a running back in this league here. When you look back at the old school teams that have won a lot of Super Bowls, you have a good running game with you.”
(On challenges they face with trying to turn the offense around)- “Obviously, this organization felt really comfortable with us as players and I think that is exciting for both of us. I am speaking for both of us here, again. Yeah there is a lot of pressure that goes along with being a quarterback and running back in the NFL. They were so close last year. There were games that where they were close and came up a few points short. That is just the nature of NFL football. I think it is going to be a fun ride. I’ll tell you what, it’s exciting. Like I said earlier, we are ready to get to work and get to know all of the guys, we ran into a few of them down there in the cafeteria, and get to know the guys and get the ball rolling. We are excited about it.”
(On if he knew he was the Browns guy when they traded up and how did it felt to get that call)- “When I saw them trade up I kind of sensed it. That feeling right then when I got that phone call, it was a big relief because I have been through some stuff and my family has been through some stuff. Now my little girls don’t have to go through the struggles that I have been through growing up, like growing up and having to see their dad and their mom work two or three jobs like I did. My mom is a cancer patient and she fights that every day and she is a strong woman. My mom has done a lot as far as taking in kids that are not hers and getting custody of them, my cousins, and she keeps us all together. She keeps our family strong and she is still disciplining us today. That’s a real mom for you. She was a mom and a dad to us and she is still like that to us today. When it came down to it, I saw my mom and said ‘Mom, we are going to be in Ohio.’ When I told her about the trade, she was like, ‘Are you sure we are going to be there.’ She is making sure because we don’t want to get out hopes up too high because somebody else could have been taken with the third pick. From right then, in my head, before I left here, they said that, ‘You are our guy.’ In my head I was like, ‘They really want me and believe in me and I have got to make sure that I go do something to be an outstanding player. And make sure I am myself at the same time and make sure I can be that guy they can always depend on to put the team on my back when it comes down to it in the trenches.”
(On being compared to Emmitt Smith and their relationship)- “Being from the same hometown and from the same school, you have no choice. He was a Gator and I was a Gator in high school. The first thing, when people say something about Pensacola it is, ‘Oh you got Emmitt Smith from there.’ ‘Oh yeah we do.’ He represents us good when it comes to playing football and our relationship is pretty strong. He always tells me that anything I need, like conversation wise or any advice to, ‘Make sure you come and talk to me and make sure you use me as best you can.’ That dude, he is tremendous when it comes to knowing this game of football and just building a relationship with people.”
(On what advice Emmitt Smith has gave him)- “He is always telling me, ‘Just be you and just stay humble. Don’t worry about all of the bad and all of the clutter. Don’t let that get into your head.’ He always told me, ‘I am the leading rusher and records are meant to be broken so come get me.’”
(On if he can have an immediate impact as a rookie)- “Most definitely. That is the plan and that is the standard I am going to set. When it comes down to it, this town and this community, they expect the same thing and I wouldn’t be here if they didn’t expect the same thing. I am here to try and better the team. We want to win, everybody wants to win. This opportunity that they gave me, I really have to say thanks, because this has always been a dream for me. Coming from where I came from, people don’t make it out of age 18. I really want to thank them and try to repay them back and just try to play good football for them.”
(On being compared to Ray Rice, Maurice Jones-Drew and Emmitt Smith)- “You hear comparisons and no, I am not near one of those guys. Those guys did a lot of great things in life, especially with the football in their hand. I can be one of those guys who you can mention my name with that type of back or be the Emmitt Smith type of back or the Marshall Faulk or all of those great guys. Even the great Jim Brown when it comes down to it. There is only one thing you can take to the grave with you and that is your last name. How your name is remembered, that’s on you. That is going to be on my, how I have my name remembered. Not by a coach telling me that you are going to be a great player. That is not going to help my name be remembered in the books. What I do on that field, that is going to be on me. How hard I work, that’s going to be on me. When it comes down to it, I have two little girls who have to eat and who have to have smiles on their face. I can’t let any man take meals from my little girls.”
(On what jersey number he wants)- "I can't wear number three in the league as a running back but you can wear 33. I'm going to let you all see and when it comes out. I'm not going to say too much about it but because I probably just gave everything away."
(On if he is conscious of his height when he is on the field because he is 5-9)- "I don't really think about my height. They have me at 5-9 but they were pushing my head down (jokingly). I just play football, I don't buy into who is big, who is fast or who is smaller. If you are going to run up to me, I'm going to give you everything I can and I know you are going to give me everything you can. When it comes to being shorter than everyone else, that might be a positive because I can hide behind the blockers and try to squirm through there. I don't buy into the size thing."
(On playing behind Mark Ingram at Alabama)- "When Mark and I or anyone around our house at Alabama, we don't call it playing behind anyone. We call it our rotation. We were playing beside each other. We competed every day, no matter what it was. We competed with anything and that made us better. In our room, we always built relationships and we built a family. We weren't out there hoping one would get hurt so we could go in. No, that's being selfish and that's how you mix your blessings. We were out there trying to make sure everyone was playing and eating. When it comes down to it, we want everyone to do the same thing and we want to win. We are here to better each other and make stuff happen. As far as winning a national championships, two out of three years wasn't bad."
(On his injury in high school)- "In high school during my freshman and sophomore year I didn't play football due to an injury I had. I had two screws in both my ankles and I didn't know where my life was going to be. I had my first child when I was a sophomore in high school, so it was going to be either I hung around a wrong crowd, which I wasn't raised that way, and try to get fast money. Or, I could go make something out of myself and go be a grown man and handle my responsibilities. I stood up to the plate and my little girls are happy now. I'm here today now and if you look around anywhere last year I wasn't on any college magazine that you could find. That was big coming from where I came from and seen the things that I've seen. A guy like me, who almost gave up and fought back due to injuries and becoming a father in high school, that's big. I was a child trying to raise a child. I'm not telling anyone to go out and have kids early, but that humbled and grounded me and made me realize that you have to do something that can change your kids and your mom's life. You need to do well for your family."
(On if his mother continues to help him)- "Most definitely. I have a lot of respect for my mom. Matter of fact, whenever I get ready to get my house here my mom will be here to help me with my kids. That lady is strong and she has done a lot for me and my family. When I got to college, to help me, my mom moved to Birmingham so I could be 45 minutes away from my kids. That way, I wouldn't just see them every one in a while, I could see them every weekend and sometimes every week."
(On if he broke both his ankles)- "No, I tore ligaments in my ankle."
(On how it happened)- "Just running sideline to sideline in a Wing T. I guess I was overdeveloped and hadn't grown into my bones yet. I was a big kid. I have no problems with them now. I haven't had any problems since then. Matter of fact, I got faster and stronger too. I'm here today in your face and I'm a Cleveland Brown."
(On if his mother is still taking cancer treatments)- "Yes, most definitely. She is healthy but it's a long way to go. That's something we have to monitor and it's something we have to look after. When it comes down to it, there is nothing like your mom, I don't care what they say. You can never get that back. I'm going to treat my mom like a queen like she deserves."