It should be noted that he had a second knee scope and missed all four preseason games prior to the Browns' home opener. While it appears running backs have an easier path adapting to the NFL, there is something to be said for kicking the rust off after not actively participating in a football game since last January's national championship win over LSU.
Richardson's first outing resulted in 19 carries for 39 yards and a long of nine, which provided his lone highlight.
Here is his full Week 1 report card.
Though he was quite likely hindered by lack of preparation time and likely not 100 percent after his knee scope, Richardson saw a surprising amount of game time.
It was estimated prior to the game that he'd see, at most, 15 carries. He ran the ball 19 times and left the game healthy.
This is a great sign regarding Richardson's durability.
In highlights I've seen of Richardson from his college days at Alabama, he seemed to have a quickness about him, a burst that I didn't see today.
There is a good reason for this: Philadelphia did a good job of penetrating the Browns line and often crowding it. Richardson didn't have many opportunities to display that 'Bama burst I saw, because he was almost instantly met by Philly defenders.
Still, on the few occasions he did have breathing room, I just didn't see the burst I expected. I could—and will—chalk it up to his four-game absence in preseason and knee scope recovery. I trust we will see improvement as the season moves on.
I just didn't see it today.
Again, Richardson spent most of the game trying to make something out of nothing. The overwhelming majority of his carries were inside runs where he was required to move a pile.
There will be games where we can grade this all-important running back trait, but this isn't one of them.
In the majority of passing situations, Brandon Jackson was asked to offer extra protection for Weeden. I didn't see any strong supporting evidence of whether or not Richardson can block the big boys.
In most cases, as stated, Richardson was running into piles of Eagles defenders. I can recall only one run where just one Eagles defender got his hands on him before he went down.
In a game where your quarterback went 12-of-35 with four interceptions, I think the one catch for five yards is somewhat immeasurable.
This definitely requires a larger data sample.
There were a few runs where Richardson showed a nice change of direction on a couple of cutbacks. Again, his longest run was a mere nine yards, so the data sample is small.
Considering he's in recovery and in his first game back, I was impressed with the rare moments he had a chance to make a move in today's game.
No, I didn't average my scores to come up with a grade. I took into account that the Browns ran him 19 times, virtually all inside runs, with little room for him to move. If there is a single positive representation of Richardson to take from the game, it's this video.
That single run demonstrates his cutback ability and his brute strength. Even though he only went for nine, it is a sign of possibilities to come. I only see Richardson getting stronger as he makes his next appearance.
While Browns fans didn't get a full display of what their new weapon can do, that taste allows me to remain hopeful that Richardson's grade with be one of excellence in future games to come—even if this game's performance is merely an incomplete.