Running Back Trent Richardson becomes a member of the Oakland Raiders.
Q: When you got cut from the Colts, you had some quotes saying that you expect to be the starter elsewhere. Is that the mindset coming into Oakland?
Richardson:"Most definitely. If a guy is coming in and doesn't expect to be a starter, why is that guy here? For me, I expect to be a starter wherever I'm at. I just can't wait for the opportunity."
Q: Why didn't it work out in Indianapolis?
Richardson:"From the beginning, trying to fit into their program, it was different for me. For me, it was more of me being an all-time blocker. There's nothing wrong with blocking, but I still want to be able to help the team in different types of ways. I don't look at it as a bad thing. I just think it was a bad marriage. With that, I don't blame the O-line or anybody else. At the end of the day, I can still get better and I'm going to be working my tail off and trying to be the best running back now."
Q: When did all of this start to happen with the Raiders?
Richardson:"Really, I got up here last night, yesterday. I had a real good chat with them. We went over the offense and saw a lot of stuff that I saw in college. I know this playbook already, especially when it comes to the run. I know what they expect and how they're going to spread the field, putting me in a position to be successful. With that, in talking to [Head] Coach [Jack Del Rio], he just said there is just a lot of opportunity out here. He said he isn't going to promise me anything, but if I come in and work, I can be that bell cow."
Q: After not averaging four yards a carry over your NFL career, do you think that this is a system that can change that?
Richardson:"Most definitely. In my first season, I think it was something close to it, but it is what it is. I played the whole season with broken ribs, and I rushed for like 950 and I played 14 games. Last year, just in Indy, that system just didn't fit me. When I got there, started off kind of early this year, it was going good and then I ended up getting hurt and then stuff just kind of bagged off. Just looking back on it, that's a taste that you never want to get in your mouth again. Hopefully this is my last stop, and I'm going to do whatever I can to make this my last stop. Until I'm ready to walk away from the game, I don't want to leave here."
Q: After having so much success in college, have the last few seasons been humbling for you?
Richardson:"Most definitely. The very first humbling experience I had was getting traded. I spent the whole year, just wondering, why in the world and how in the world did I get traded. Looking back at it, even if they said it was a business move, in my head, it's still some type of, 'OK, you still got traded.' With that, these last few years, it's been very humbling, being able to play with Ahmad Bradshaw and be able to play with guys like Reggie Wayne and Robert Mathis and Andrew [Luck]. It just takes you back to the basics, you've just got to be able to just perform, no matter what. With that, I just go back to my old pedigree. I had the Julio [Jones], the Mark Ingram, the AJ McCarron and the Eddie Lacy all on one team. It's just big for me to get back to the basics."
Q: Are you aware of the Raiders reputation of being a place where guys come to jump start their careers and is that appealing at all?
Richardson:"Yeah, I didn't really look at it like that though. I'm just coming in and looking for this opportunity. Not saying that I've got to start over, but right now, it's just a fresh start for me. It's something that I can build off of and know that I can lose. With my mindset and the chip that's on my shoulder, it's no looking back."
Q: Does it blow you away that a guy, Chris Borland, your age would retire?
Richardson:"Yeah, it does, but in some ways, it doesn't. Mental-wise, that's all this game is. Physically, I think that when you get to this level you can play it, but mentally, when you sit and think about stuff or your mind is not into it, that can tear you down as a man. A lot of football players don't realize stuff until it's gone. Once you realize that - I've been playing football my whole life. I've been playing football since I was six years old. Coach asked me this yesterday, he said, 'Trent, how long have you been playing football?' I said, 'Coach, I've been playing since six years old.' He said, 'So, what would you do without football? At your age, what would you do without football?' It kind of hit me to where, 'Yeah, you're right, coach.' That's something that you don't expect, that you don't hear from everybody."