How the Oakland Raiders Can Get the Most out of Trent Richardson

Now that the Oakland Raiders have signed running back Trent Richardson—one of the biggest draft busts this side of JaMarcus Russell—it’ll be up to the coaching staff to try to get something out of him.

Where the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts have failed, the Raiders will try to succeed.

Considering Richardson’s career average of 3.3 yards per carry is the worst for any running back with at least 600 carries since the merger, it may be an impossible task. How can the Raiders get something out of a player who has been a net negative at his two prior stops?

Contrary to popular opinion, there are strategies the Browns and Colts didn’t try with Richardson. There are also areas of his game he can easily correct that might put him in position to be successful.

It’s up to the Raiders to put him in the best possible position to have success and for him to make the most of it.

If Richardson doesn’t make the most of his opportunities, the Raiders are under no obligation to keep him. We now know that he has flaws that go beyond those that are easily correctable or he wouldn’t be here. Just as Matt Schaub didn’t prevent them from selecting Derek Carr a year ago, Richardson will not prevent the Raiders from selecting a running back in the draft.

Late owner Al Davis was a firm believer in bringing in former first-round picks who washed out elsewhere. One of his overriding principles was to bring in talent and let the coaches worry about getting something out of it.

That’s essentially what general manager Reggie McKenzie is doing with the blessing of his coaching staff.

The Raiders are keenly aware of how scheme and confidence can affect a player. Since 2012, the only other player besides Richardson to average 3.4 or fewer yards per carry on 300 or more carries was Darren McFadden.


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