Richardson had only 14 carries against the Ravens, and the Browns would like to get him as many touches as possible. To optimize Richardson, however, the Browns have to avoid falling behind and needing to throw to get back into the game. Richardson has only played four games, but he's already noticed that teams are designing their game plan around stopping him.
"Most definitely," the former Alabama star said. "That's one thing they always have done. They've seen me play a little bit now, so they're going to try to stop me more than anything now. But what makes it easier on our receivers. If (quarterback) Brandon (Weeden) has 300-some passing yards and we win the game, that's good with me.
"If they key on me and we lose, I feel it's my fault."
Weeden knows it's vital for Cleveland's passing game to open up the field for Richardson. Without the threat of a passing attack, New York will just overload the line of scrimmage and make it hard to move.
"That's when it's my job to try to do some things to get into a pass or check out of a play and get us into a better play," Weeden said. "You don't want to run against eight-man boxes. You're just running into a brick wall. Your optimal is just to create some space and let Trent do his thing. These guys, they like to play seven- and eight-man boxes, so we've just gotta take what they give us."
Richardson plans to take us much as he can.
NOTES: Browns S T.J. Ward will play just a few days after undergoing surgery on a broken left thumb. Ward had nine screws inserted during the procedure. He'll wear a protective immobilizing brace. "I can't grab," he said. "I don't have a thumb. I have a few fingers free. I'll just have to play normal. It's a thumb. It's not like my whole arm is gone." ... With Browns WRs Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin doubtful with hamstring injuries, rookie Josh Gordon will make his first start. Gordon has seven catches. ... TE Alex Smith will miss his third straight game with a concussion.
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