BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Buckle up those striped helmets, Bengals. Trent Richardson is headed your way.
One week after he lowered the boom on Kurt Coleman, flattening the Eagles safety and dislodging him from his helmet, Richardson is looking to do much more in his second NFL game.
Playing for the first time since undergoing left knee surgery last month, Richardson rushed for just 39 yards on 19 carries, hardly the kind of debut he expected or the Browns needed from the No. 3 overall pick in April's draft.
But although his first game as a pro didn't go well, Richardson believes his second one could be different.
"It's gonna all come together," the former Alabama star said. "I ain't worried about it, and we ain't worried about it."
Maybe the Bengals should be worried.
Richardson was bottled up last week by the Eagles, whose defensive front stuffed him at the line and never let the powerful back get loose for a big gain. His longest carry was the 9-yarder he capped by drilling Coleman, who came out of the encounter with a gash on his nose, cut upper lip and swollen bottom lip.
"I feel bad for the guy," Browns safety T.J. Ward said. "He'll see that forever."
But it was Richardson's lone highlight on a day when Cleveland's offense managed just 210 yards, didn't produce a touchdown and wasted a strong performance by the Browns' defense, which intercepted Michael Vick four times and forced a fumble in a 17-16 loss. Richardson also dropped a screen pass that could have gone for a score.
Richardson knew he blew it, and vowed never to repeat the mistake.
"I was kicking myself," he said. "But at the same time, I've gotta get up and wipe it off. I can't look backward, but I looked at that play probably two or three times and I just knew I had a touchdown or I knew I was gonna get positive yards on that play. That's not me. I got too happy. I smelled the end zone. If I could have just reached my hand out, I felt like I was touching it. So I got too excited. It won't happen again."
As tough as he was on himself, Richardson heard some outside criticism of his debut this week.
In assessing Richardson's first game, Bengals linebacker Rey Maualuga took a few direct shots at Cleveland's young back.
"He can run you over, and you can miss a tackle," Maualuga told CBSsports.com. "At the same time, from what we've seen, he didn't do nothing spectacular. From running screens, missing passes, trying to find a hole when he's running the ball, he just didn't do anything spectacular. I'm pretty sure he's going to want to get after it once he plays us."
Count on it.
Richardson heard about Maualuga's comments, but refused to get caught up in any long-distance trash talking. He'll wait and deliver his in person.
"I've got nothing to say about him," he said. "But it sparks me up. We'll see."
Richardson wasn't able to evade tacklers and didn't have his usual explosiveness last week. He missed Cleveland's four preseason games after having his knee operated on for the second time since January and only returned to practice last week. However, during workouts this week Richardson looked more like the runner who gained 3,130 yards in college, averaging nearly 6 yards per carry.