One of the most exciting players ever to put on a Colts uniform was at training camp on Saturday. Retired running back Edgerrin James, along with family and friends, paid a visit to Anderson.
After an interview with the Indy Star it became clear that Edge would like to help mentor Trent Richardson in the coming season. James spoke with Mike Chappell about what he thinks he could do for Richardson.
"We both play the same position. He’s coming to one of the greatest organizations you can come into. Last year, when he got here in the middle of the season, it wasn’t fair to try to get in (with him) with all the stuff that was going on.I told Mr. Irsay I would come up for training camp and talk to him and give him perspective on everything he’s going through. Just try to help him as much as I can."
Richardson averaged just 2.9 yards per carry last season and never really found his groove at the position. There are high hopes for the Alabama running back, especially when you watch Mark Ingram or Eddie Lacy the ‘Bama backs taken in the years before and after Richardson.
James ranks 11th all-time in rushing yards. He’s 33 yards behind Marshall Faulk and under 100 behind Jim Brown. In reality, there is a good case for James to make the Hall of Fame. He’s also the all-time Colts leading rusher with 9,226 yards.
James thinks that Richardson has a lot of potential and its unfair to judge him based off last season.
"It’s unfair to judge him off last year because it was different systems and the terminology is totally different. He was just kind of thrown out there. You can’t really get an assessment. This is the NFL. You can’t just sign somebody and think they’re going to be a star no matter how good they’ve been. It takes time.He should be a better player and he’s going to be a better player. He’s going to be familiar with everything."
Richardson said that James has already taken a hand on approach according to Steve Andress from Colts.com.
"It was a blessing, man. Just to watch practice, he said he’s going to do a lot more with me, going to be hands-on. We’ve been having phone calls back and forth, but I never had the chance to practice in front of him.It’s just a blessing to have him critique you, to have him be your critic. That’s a good critic, to have him to show you…it’s going to be big for me. It’s a big help."
Richardson really couldn’t ask for a better mentor. Colts fans will be please to know that James is still in touch with Jim Irsay and that he wants to be involved with the franchise in some small way.
It remains to be seen whether or not James’ advice will be helpful, but it certainly won’t hurt. The Colts have the potential to create another big three on the field. While Peyton Manning, Marvin Harrison, and Edge never won a championship, they wreaked havoc with opponents are were a force to be reckoned with on the field.
The Colts already know what they have in Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton, and if they can get the same level of production out of Richardson, the three-headed monster from 2012 will have opposing defense losing sleep.