‣ Trent Richardson sheds some light on his mindset while describing the former Browns team he was a part of
The Browns' trade of Trent Richardson to the Colts for their 2014 first-round pick has been called a "no-brainer" by many. For many more, it may have taken this week for the shock of the blockbuster move to wear off and the realization of what Richardson brought to the team, or lack thereof, to sink in. Well, if you still need one more reason to think the trade was the right decision, Richardson himself might have given it to you Wednesday.
Richardson spoke with the Jacksonville media via conference call, as the Colts take on the Jaguars at their place this week, but most of the questions centered around the big trade. Zac Jackson of FOX Sports Ohio shared the transcript of the call on his blog.
How different is the atmosphere? Cleveland where they’re rebuilding and Indy is coming off a playoff berth – can you tell in the locker room?
"Yeah and the atmosphere here with the players is way different. It’s much cooler, much family vibe, people actually come to work and are just ready to work and have fun. People are enjoying their jobs. I don’t think it’s one guy. I can look to my left and to my right and say that this guy is not trying as hard or he’s not giving it all to him because these guys will get onto you about that and make sure you’re working."
Were some guys in Cleveland not giving their all?
"I can’t say that they weren't giving their all but there were times that it was a Wednesday or it’s a Monday or something like that. Sometimes you have a mindset saying you don’t want to go to work today or something like that. I’m not saying these guys don’t get a day off but here you can just hear the different vibe with the family and the brotherly love here."
If we peel away the parts that seem largely incoherent, there's not much left. But what is there seems to be a pretty obvious jab at his former team. Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time we've heard something like this from him.
He offered a sneak peak of it after the Browns' loss to the Dolphins in Week 1. Richardson said then it was the first time in a long time he felt the team didn't give up. This is the same team he just took a clear shot at two and a half weeks later.
What we have here is classic projection. Richardson is ascribing his own negative attitude to his teammates, now former teammates, and did so at least once before they were just the guys on the previous team that spurned him.
This would appear to go hand-in-hand with what we saw on the field in his 17 starts as a Brown and another as a Colt. Though, Richardson was also sure to remind of us of the broken ribs and two knee surgeries he was playing with last season.
Furthermore, this coincides with the inside perspective Scott Fujita offered, having been in the same locker room a year ago. Fujita, who admits he doesn't know what's really in Richardson's head, is merely describing his interpretation of what he witnessed first-hand, and how fellow veterans might have perceived it:
I can’t speculate about what’s in any one person’s head, but when a player enters the league wearing headphones incessantly, shows up late for treatments, and makes little effort to engage with his teammates, he can quickly develop a reputation for being insular and high-maintenance.
It can be perceived that he isn’t happy and that he’s not making an effort to buy in. I’ve seen this happen countless times, especially in today’s head down, keep-things-to-yourself culture.
It's all coming together now. And somehow Banner managed deal this to Indy for a first-rounder. It's no wonder why Jim Brown describes the move as "brilliant." But that wasn't the only thing Brown was talking about this week...
‣ Jim Brown takes aim at Mike Holmgren, fires away
Jim Brown, currently serving as special adviser to the Browns, was interviewed for Showtime's Inside the NFL on Wednesday night.
Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal, who pointed out that Mike Holmgren removed Brown as former owner Randy Lerner’s executive adviser in 2010, provided the highlights:
On Mike Holmgren: "Mike Holmgren … Well, Mike is not from Cleveland. I’m a Cleveland Brown. So he gave me a choice of taking three dollars and doing a little dancing for him out there. I said, ‘Mr. Holmgren, I’m sorry … I don’t dance … become a mascot type of guy. … And I cracked up but I wrote him a letter. And I stated those things, and I had a little humor with it because I knew ultimately I would probably be back because Cleveland is my home. I have great roots there and I love the people and the people love me."
Clarification on the Mike Holmgren situation: "They were going to clean house. And he had all his boys that were going to come in and take advantage of the kind of money that he could pay his guys and never really be there. He took advantage of Randy (Lerner) and it was just a shame. Randy’s a good guy. Young owner. Wanted someone to take the pressure off of him. Mike came in, saw the weakness and took advantage of it."
This is how I pretended that went down:
A lot of Cleveland fans probably feel exactly the same way about Holmgren, though without the same national platform to share it. I have to imagine they aren't nearly as gleeful as ol' Lloyd is in the clip above, considering the one thing we know for a fact was the end result of the whole ugly ordeal: The team was set back another several years from the day Holmgren took over.
Jim Brown eventually got his job back under new owner Jimmy Haslam. The fans are still desperately hoping Joe Banner, Mike Lombardi, and Rob Chudzinski can clean up the mess that was left on the field.
‣ Josh Gordon to host after-party at Cleveland club, posts flier to Instagram, internet overreacts
The following flier surfaced early this morning and ignited an unsurprising Twitter firestorm. The Instagram post has since been removed and replaced by a blank picture that reads, "Better?"
I understand why this is a public relations nightmare for the Browns. This is only a big deal because of Gordon's history with suspensions due to substance abuse, a history that's lead the league to give him just one last chance before he's kicked out for an entire year. That's the big deal.
Not a big deal is Gordon hosting a gig at a club in Cleveland after Thurday night's home game against the Bills. Yeah, they're advertising $100 bottles. That's what happens at clubs. But as long as players aren't getting behind the wheel, alcohol isn't a banned substance.
Is it a stupid PR move considering his current situation? Absolutely. Is it enough to ship him off to the first team that's buying? Absolutely not.
Admittedly, if he didn't have the real potential to be an elite NFL receiver, I would be a lot less inclined to jump to Gordon's defense. It's the talent that makes him worth the risk for the Browns.
The market value simply isn't there. The rest of the league understands that he's a single violation away from sitting for a year. This risk is worth far more to the Browns than any other team is willing to pay.
It may be "when" not "if" with Gordon. But this flier didn't make that a certainty.
The Browns are in a predicament where they have to wait to cross that bridge if or when they come to it.