You clicked this story under false pretenses. I'm not sorry. This is good stuff.
I'm about to show you why Trent Richardson is not only playing better than his stats indicate, but that he's playing very well.
I wanted to give a visual of this article. It's good, and you should read it.
And since the NFL has been kind enough to allow the Colts vs. Broncos game be offered for free via game rewind and it is providing the All-22 film for about 7 minutes of the 1st quarter. I have taken advantage their kindness to give you this:
RUN PLAY #1
The first play of the game, the Colts come out in a 3 wide 1 back set with Fleener lined up on the left side of the formation:
The play is designed to run up the gut provided Samson Satele blocking down, McGlynn pulling left to seal the DT and Thornton working the second level to take care of an inside linebacker:
If these blocks are executed it is up to Trent Richardson to beat the two safeties playing over the top and then rumble into the endzone, it is a fantastic play called against the perfect defense to have success. The only problem is, instead of executing their blocks this is what happens:
In the picture above the "hole" should be right about where Mike McGlynn's man is... But let's not pile on #75 as so many around here have. I'll start from left to right.
TE: Fleener didn't do anything spectacular, but he did his job.
LT: AC, also did his job.
LG: Thornton got to his backer late and had everything else gone right his man would have filled the hole for a likely short gain.
C: Satele's block didn't set the world on fire but was more than adequate to execute the play.
RG: McGlynn fails to use his hands to try to block the DT, instead relying on the technique that has never worked for any linemen since the 1970's: the shoulder block. Had McGlynn extended his arms he may not have executed his block but he at least would have had a chance. Instead of using good technique McGlynn's "block" is beaten and the defender plays it perfectly. RT: Gosder Cherilus, does his job.
The two major failures in this play came from McGlynn and Thornton, McGlynn's being the bigger failure as his was THE block on this play. Richardson, however made something out of nothing:
Gaining a few yards on an otherwise busted play.
For the sake of my time and the fact that eventually someone's going to figure out I've been watching game film at work I'll only give one screen shot of the next run.
RUN PLAY #2
Both the Colts and Broncos come out in the same sets, this time however both inside linebackers line up over Satele showing a double a-gap blitz.
Left to right:
TE: Fleener does his job and stalemates the DE.
LT: Castanzo pushes the DT right where he should go.
LG: Thornton blocks down on an ILB initially winning the block, the backer eventually rips away and gets in on the tackle.
C: Satele is responsible for taking the other ILB. Inexplicably instead of driving off the ball and hitting his man Satele appears as though he his in pass pro and tries to hand fight with his man, leaving him free to flow to the opposite side of the field and make initial contact with Richardson.
RG: McGlynn shows why he is likely still the starter at RG... he moves laterally very well on this play in order to play the role of lead blocker. As he comes behind Castanzo he "chips" the DE being blocked by Fleener, that chip was again another shoulder blow, this time however because the defender was engaged with 80 it worked and he blew up the end taking him completely out of the play. It also completely eliminated his ability to make a block on the second level as he lost his balance trying to get his hands on a safety. Overall he did his job.
RT: Cherilus made his cut block. Did his job.
Proof:(the yellow arrow indicates where the hole should be, the red arrow indicates who made first contact):
Satele. Thornton failed but had Satele done his job it wouldn't have mattered, Richardson would have been gone.
All in all breaking down just these two plays it becomes clear the Colts still have work to do on their interior line. I'll give Thornton a pass because he is a 3rd round rookie thrust into playing due to injury. McGlynn and Satele however? There's no real excuse for them, they're just not very good.
Both of these runs should have gone for huge gains, neither one did but it wasn't Trent Richardson's fault, actually after two carries Richardson had 8 yards, had he not shown is amazing ability on the first play he would have had 2 carries for 4 yards.
I understand we gave up a 1st rounder to get him, and as a result expectations are high, but the guy cannot execute other players' assignments in addition to his own. He has seemed tentative at times, but in the past two games he has been less so.
Richardson is far from perfect, but he's playing far, far better than his stats indicate. I don't care what the talking idiots paid for their opinions say.
EDIT TO ADD DONALD BROWN RUN.
D.B. RUN #1
3rd and 2. The Colts are in a heavy power set with an extra OLinemen lined up at TE on the right side of the formation. Coby Fleener is lined up to the right of him. Reggie Wayne is lined up tight to the left of the formation and a FB is used (and in motion left to right pre-snap):
Here's how the play looks:
Now it looks complicated but long story short everyone blocks down to the left, while the LG, Hugh Thornton pulls and hits the hole. Fleener works to the 2nd level against a linebacker. And the FB blocks not 1 but 2 DB's (not by design but he kills 33 first and then blocks Champ Bailey). Donald Brown's job is to run off tackle.
The play sets up nicely, with Thornton pulling showing good quickness for a 320+lb'er. Fleener engages the backer and the FB blows up #33. Along the line the extra linemen (Reitz) drives his man down and out of the play and McGlynn dominating his man shoving him down the line away from the hole. Meanwhile Satele engages the DT and chops his feet, he's not driving, not pushing, not turning, he simply has his hands on Vickerson and is standing there. As Vickerson watches the play develop he rips away from Satele and flows from the backside of the play, towards the hole.
The picture above highlights when Satele is initially beaten, with the yellow arrow. If you would also kindly notice Donald Brown bury his head into Thornton's #69 that will be telling for the next picture...
I just wanted everyone to see what I saw on this play. Number one thing is highlighted by the red arrow, which is the Mack Truck sized hole that opens after Hugh Thornton destroys the ILB. All Brown has to do is glance to his left and he's off to the races, as long as Satele's DT doesn't get to him first. Actually the safety sees the hole and starts to fill it as he is expecting Brown to pop out and at him... only he never does.
The picture above shows Brown continuing to run into the back of Thornton, While Satele is letting a DT who should never have been in the play, run towards the ball carrier as he is (somehow) avoiding being called for holding (tackling) Vickerson.
And that's basically how the play ends. I could show the last screen I have of it but it's basically Donald Brown laying in a pile of blue and white with the backside DT laying in the would be hole with Samson Satele basically on his back.
1 Yard gain. 4th and 1. Punt.
Donald Brown ended this drive before it began. The blocking was superb play side. He would have easily gained 5-7 yards had he seen the hole and if he could have made the Safety miss he would have scored a 70+ yard TD. But he ran into the back of his linemen and fell down.
Samson Satele. It ended up not effecting the outcome of the play, but it actually upset me to see how little effort he gave on this play. He didn't even try to block him, it was like he was still in walk throughs until Vickerson took off and then he just held on for dear life. It didn't ruin this play but it is indicative of the rest of his game.
Guys as fun as this has been, I have to leave work now. It's been real, I hope you enjoy.