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Pagano: Circumstance biggest hurdle for RB Richardson

The SportsXchange

INDIANAPOLIS -- With running back Donald Brown having his best game of the season in Thursday night's nationally-televised 30-27 win over the Tennessee Titans, will the Indianapolis Colts make a change in the starting offensive lineup?

Will Brown, who rushed for 80 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 14 carries, supplant Trent Richardson as the team's starting running back?

Probably not.

While Brown has played well in his backup role this season -- first behind Vick Ballard, then Ahmad Bradshaw and now Richardson -- the Indianapolis coaching staff is expected to keep the current running back rotation exactly as is.

Richardson, who was added to the team's roster in early September after a trade with Cleveland, has struggled since coming to the Colts. The Browns received Indianapolis' first-round pick in next year's NFL Draft.

"We obviously have a very good situation right now with Trent and Donald," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Friday. "Donald had an exceptional football game (against the Titans). He's been playing well this entire season and doing a great job for us.

"You look at Trent's runs. For whatever reason, there's penetration. There's a guy who's pulling and falls down. There's a guy in the guy in the backfield waiting. He's had some really good runs, plays that he made in space (on) screens. Things like that that he does a great job with."

It's obvious the Colts haven't given up on Richardson.

"That's going to come. I think we're going with those two guys (Richardson and Brown) has been productive for both players. Guy gets hot, we can always go with the hot hand. But I like the way we're doing things now."

According to Pagano, Richardson's problems have been more a matter of circumstance.

"For whatever reason, we miss a block here or there and a guy is sitting there free in the hole. And it just happens when we hand the ball to (No.) 34. So it's nothing that he did," Pagano said.

"I don't know if he's snakebit. I don't know what the heck is going on. But we'll get it fixed. We'll get the holes there. He's making the right reads, he's doing all the right things. He knows what to do. He played great without the ball, (pass) protection-wise, those things. His numbers are going to come. I'm not concerned about that."

As for Brown, the Colts coach is not surprised by how well he has been playing when given the opportunity.

"He's playing really well. Running hard, hitting the hole, breaking tackles. Yards after contact. We all know that out in space, he's a dynamic guy," Pagano said.

"He can take it the distance when he gets loose. So he's playing exceptionally well."

When asked if he regretted the deal that brought Richardson in, Pagano quickly replied: "Absolutely not."
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