As I get older, and maybe even a bit wiser as a football fan, I’ve started to filter out some of the less meaningful debates, I think. Yes, I’m still willing to discuss Indians attendance even as it has little impact on me or what I choose as my relationship to the Cleveland Indians, but I still think I’ve gotten better. One place, specifically where I think I’ve gotten savvier is with the story-lines of pre-season, specifically trying to hyper-analyze whether it’s good or bad that Trent Richardson sat out the first game of pre-season.
This doesn’t mean that I don’t care to look at Barkevious Mingo’s performance in his first NFL action. When the live action started it was really fun to see just how fast, athletic and/or overmatched he might be with the faster game. It also doesn’t mean that I don’t want to read about Tori Gurley who has little to no chance at ever making even the slightest difference for the Cleveland Browns. I enjoy these little glimpses into the NFL that are only really relevant before fringe guys get cut loose.
Specifically though, when it comes to a first round pick and a running back like Trent Richardson, I really don’t care if he plays the first pre-season game.
Is Trent Richardson injury prone? Will Trent Richardson live up to his draft position for the Browns? How will Trent Richardson fare in Norv Turner and Chud’s new offense? We heard that Trent Richardson lost a bit of weight, so will he look quicker?
These are all decent enough questions and it will be interesting to see the answers, but a week one pre-season performance against the Rams isn’t necessary to prove or disprove any of them. Yes, it might be concerning that Trent Richardson is apparently not healthy enough to get on the field, but in this day and age of the Cleveland Browns and knowing as much as we know about NFL players, it just doesn’t matter.
We’ve seen William Green, Lee Suggs, Peyton Hillis, and Jamal Lewis have good moments and bad ones. We’ve seen them be wildly inconsistent from one year to the next. We’ve seen injuries derail them at different times and we’ve seen them get skinnier, healthier, “in the best shape of their lives” and also overly entitled. And yet none of those things were decided or determined by watching one pre-season game.
So let’s look at what did happen in the pre-season game instead of what didn’t happen.
And with regard to Richardson, talk to me when it’s a regular season game and someone needs a throat culture. You know… for example.