The Cleveland Browns invested heavily in their offense this offseason by spending two first-round picks on it in the form of running back Trent Richardson and quarterback Brandon Weeden. Richardson was taken with the No. 3 overall pick and is clearly the future of the franchise (at least, that's what Cleveland hopes). Richardson will spend his career being the bell-cow for that offense provided he stays put, and not many are worried about his lackluster performance in week one.
If you ask Rey Maualuga of the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland's Week 2 opponents, you'll find he took that performance to heart. In fact, he said Richardson hasn't shown "anything spectacular," according to Paul Dehner Jr. of CBS Sports.
"He can run you over and you can miss a tackle, at the same time, from what we've seen he didn't do nothing spectacular," Maualuga said. "From running screens, missing passes, trying to find a hole when he's running the ball. He just didn't do anything spectacular from what I've seen. I'm pretty sure he's going to want to get after it once he plays us."
Of course, his statement appears a bit more level-headed when you put it all together, but it would be a mistake for a veteran like Maualuga to expect to see top tier play from a rookie making his first start. Basing your perceptions on a player's first game in the NFL is a big mistake, and Richardson is just the kind of player who seems likely to make someone eat their words for a statement like that.
Then again, there are some prominent people skeptical of Richardson. People like a former star for the Browns, running back Jim Brown, who said he didn't see "anything outstanding" and that he was "ordinary."