We all know "coach speak." When coaches (or anyone associated with a team, really) offers a lot of comments or praise for a player. Sometimes, they're right, and other times they're just saying things to make their players and their team look better.
I'll leave it up to you to decide which one is true in the case of what the Colts coaches and players were saying about Trent Richardson. Chuck Pagano, the team's head coach, gave his thoughts on Richardson yesterday:
"Number one, he's getting healthy. He's getting back to 100 percent so I think some of those runs you're starting to see, the hard work, the full offseason, the comfort with the scheme, the terminology, being around the offensive guys, the guys that are lined up in front of him blocking and seeing him starting to put a foot in the ground, see a hole, burst through the line of scrimmage, all that stuff is coming. It's only going to get better too as he gets closer to 100 percent health-wise. Again he's on track, he's on track."
Pagano also talked about Richardson's health and if he's getting close to 100-percent:
"Again, I think every day that you see him out here and he's starting to get a few more reps each and every day. Like I said, I can start to see bursts and trust in that hammy that he was nursing a little bit. I'm not a doctor, I'm not a trainer. I listen to those guys. So for me to put a number on it right now, I'd be just throwing some number out there, something maybe you guys want to hear, something maybe he doesn't want to hear, I don't know. I know he's getting close."
Quarterback Andrew Luck was more general in his praise, but it's clear he's happy with the running game as a whole:
"Some real positive stuff. I think the line is taking it very personally, they get positive yards. In the run game, I think Trent (Richardson), Ahmad (Bradshaw), Boom (Daniel Herron), all the guys have really been running it well. We got a couple gashes today, yesterday. A combination of good, long runs, wide receivers working their butts off down the field. If we can run the ball, we realize that we can be a good team."
Pep Hamilton talked on Friday about Richardson's improvement this year:
"He has a better understanding of the offense. It all starts with his ability to play without the ball, we have to protect our quarterback. He has done a good job of making the appropriate adjustments in the pass protection standpoint. He is into it, a lot more relaxed now and like I said, I think he will be able to play fast without any uncertainty on game day."
One of the most common questions that I've received since camp started has been about how Trent Richardson is doing, and to be honest, we haven't seen a ton from him. He missed several days with an injury and then on top of that, ti's hard to evaluate running backs and the running game in training camp, especially when the Colts aren't hitting a whole lot. At the same time, however, it does look like Richardson is running the ball well. There's no doubt that he has had some very nice cuts, bursts, reads, etc. in camp so far, and that is an encouraging sign. But before I really get encouraged and excited, however, I know that I'll need to see it on the field.
You might call all of the above coach speak, but one thing that has been clear so far is that Trent Richardson looks better. Just how much better? Well, we'll just have to wait and see (and cross our fingers).