Fujita: Richardson seemed to be disengaged, high-maintenance

It seems strange to say a fresh start is needed for someone who’s beginning his career, but that might be the case here. Guys get drafted all the time to places they just don’t want to be. 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. Generally, you hope the player grows out of that coming into his second season, especially when there’s been a complete regime change and everyone is expected to prove themselves all over again. Some players buy in, and some don’t. Buy-in, even if it’s just perceived, goes a long way. You have to be willing to show you want to be part of the team.

— Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, via FOX Sports, on former Browns running back Trent Richardson. Fujita spent last season with the Browns during Richardson’s rookie year. Fujita adds that while the trade may benefit the Browns on a going-forward basis, that a “message” was sent:  No one is guaranteed a spot on this team. No one is bigger than the team. If you don’t buy in, you don’t belong on this team. He also added that fans should “wait ’til next year,” so there’s that.

[Related: Rooting interests versus tanking interests: Keepin’ it Real]

  • nj0

    A very interesting take. Have past reports made TR out to be disengaged and high-maintenance?

  • Lunch

    If there are any, then the next question is can you trust the sources from those articles?

    So far I haven’t read anything about Richardson’s displeasure with the Browns. But now does his reaction to being selected in that NFL fantasy football commercial count?

  • Bryan

    Schefter tweeted the other day that his “sources” in Berea said T-Rich was known as Trent “Bitchardson.” Whatever that is worth.

  • JHop

    This begs the question: was Richardson disengaged because of his own personality, or was/is there something about the Cleveland Browns organization (the past and current regimes) that made him feel this way? If it’s the former, then the problem has been fixed via the trade. If it’s the latter, then we have a much deeper problem to deal with as a franchise.

  • Lunch

    Sure love to know who his “sources” were though.

  • Oh my, can we stop this seriously.

    “I can’t speculate about what’s in any one person’s head”

    Let me stop you right there Scotty. Don’t do it then.

  • mgbode

    we have now heard from LCB, Holmgren, Fujita.

    someone put up a mic in front of Phil Savage.
    does Butch Davis have a take?
    maybe Carmen Policy wants to weigh in from his vineyard.

  • Scott Johnson

    dancing around in the back field and falling down might be a symptom

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Fujita who?

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Lombardi isn’t a source!

  • MrCleaveland

    Did he really say “today’s head down, keep-things-to-yourself culture”? Uh, Fuj, where exactly does this culture exist?

  • FearTheRoo

    Dan Gilbert hates the trade. Mentioned it on twitter a few times.

    To me it’s like trading Kyrie Irving to the Pacers for nothing in return.

  • simond

    Phil Savage

    IMO, the Trent Richardson trade after wk 2 is more “stunning” than the Charlie Frye trade after wk1 in ’07. Has to be more to story.

  • FearTheRoo

    I put Fujita up there with guys like Joe Thomas and Phil Dawson. They are usually very respected and positive players. If they say anything negative it seems like there has to be some truth there.

  • BrownieBob

    This just confirms what I said the other day….He has been on the block for awhile…now maybe we now the reason……Think about it…..Fujita has no reason to just ” make this up “…..and Banner, knowing the heat he was going to get, still made this highly unusual trade……Whenever something doesn’t appear to make any sense its usually because we are not going to get the ” real reason ” !!!
    I actually hope this is true….it shows that the organization is not going to tolerate fools….and I like that…..The browns have been a most undisciplined team for 14 years……Maybe the only reason Little and Gordon are still here is that you cant get a 6 pack of beer in a trade with them let alone a 1st rd pick!!!…..Time will tell…
    I have heard about the ” Bitchardson ” comment before from people I know….But now it takes on a whole new meaning……who knew???
    Anyone else wondering why they don’t put Little in the backfield and try to sign another free agent receiver???…..We cant possibly be any worse off anyways if we did…….
    I just wish Lombardi was not involved in any way on draft day….. his record is truly just sooooooooo bad……talk about the Peter Principle being in place….

  • nj0

    If I was a promising young professional and worked at an organization comparable to the Cleveland Browns, I would probably be disengaged too (or at least circulating my resume to anyone willing to take a look at it).

  • nj0

    This article read as “I want to criticize TR based on my experience with him but am too diplomatic to do so directly”.

    Thus the use of generic third person nouns – “person’s head”, “guys”, “players” – over just saying Trent Richardson needs a change, wore headphones, didn’t engage his teammates, etc.

    Not that any of that negates your point. I will say, I think Fujita’s point is that sometimes perception becomes reality. If you act a certain way, people start assuming things about you. Maybe it’s unfair, but that’s life.

  • nj0

    How about a source of pain and frustration? Or a source of comedic material?

  • nj0

    I hate “sources”.

  • nj0

    Speaking of, I’m glad to see Arian Foster speaking up about money in the NCAA and putting his name on it. He seems like a pretty cool dude.

  • uh, everywhere.

  • Garry_Owen

    Dude . . . . . . what’s with the . . . . . ellipses?

  • MrCleaveland

    Uh, really? Has he heard of Twitter? Facebook? You Tube? And a half a dozen other social media platforms out there that I can’t think of at the moment?

    I’m not seeing a whole lot of “keep it to yourself” culture.

  • Natedawg86

    He is running and using the voice option on Iphone to lazily type out his thoughts for him. In todays world it is called multi-tasking

  • There’s a difference between keeping your head down into your smartphone and posting selfies of your bros to keep up ones online persona verse keeping your head down when it’s time for real life interactions, bonding with your team, etc.

  • mgbode

    I agree with you. It is very easy to know alot of information about people (congrats on the engagement, btw) without actually getting to know those people.

  • MrCleaveland

    Well okay, fair enough. That’s an angle I hadn’t considered. I don’t necessarily buy it, but I see your point.

  • HA!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I love my selfies!

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • nj0

    Celine is a big Browns fan.

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • nj0


  • dan

    Nope, that was a fake retweet you saw. It didn’t come from Schefter.

  • Garry_Owen

    Well, I’ve been pretty quiet this week . . .

  • The_Real_Shamrock


  • The_Real_Shamrock

    …who r u? 😉

  • Garry_Owen

    I’m Batman.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    I’m a photographer!

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Nice to meet u Batman I’m Long Dong Silver!

  • mgbode

    do you think this was part of what the players planned on using in the court case?


  • Chucky Brown

    oh lord, I just got a lil queezy from reading a trich/Kyrie comparision

  • Chucky Brown

    someway, somehow Kokinos is involved

  • CB Everett

    Ha. Does public wailing and beating of one’s breast count as “keeping it to yourself?” The outpouring of emotion on social media has been staggering (note “staggering” is the nicest word I could use to describe it).

  • dukem1

    He did an excellent act as a lousy running back.

  • Big Z

    All the kids I go to college with wear headphones incessantly and show up late all the time, but that doesn’t make them “high maintenance” – just gooberish.

  • Wow

    the same guy who played 2 games last year?

  • saggy

    you must not have a Mac. Strange, for a photog…

  • Paul

    I agree Mr Cleaveland. Today’s NFL is one massive ego trip. You think you know it all and brag it to your fans on every social media available. Take off the damn headphones, get a good attitude and be coachable!