The Indianapolis Colts surprised most everybody in the football world on Wednesday when they traded a first round pick for Cleveland Browns running back Trent Richardson. The Colts had some running back issues with Vick Ballard going down for the season, but this move was a man-sized effort to clean things up. The folks at Stampede Blue have all kinds of analysis on the trade.
My biggest question after the trade was what to expect this Sunday when the Colts face the 49ers. I really could not care less what it means for the rest of the regular season. This week the 49ers have to game plan around a clearly evolving Colts squad. And they got themselves some kind of disclosure from Colts head coach Chuck Pagano. When asked about Richardson's status for Sunday, Pagano said, "We did not bring him in here to be the water boy on Sunday. He’ll be ready to roll."
First off, I am pretty sure we would not get anything remotely that forthcoming from Jim Harbaugh. Pagano could be BS'ing us, but Harbaugh would not even go that far. So, there's that.
This impacts the 49ers game-planning in so much as they are dealing with a different running back. It is not easy adding a new player to the scouting mix when you have already begun implementing the game plan. That being said, the Colts have tried to focus their rushing attack this season, so I think the 49ers were already going to be sufficiently prepared in that regard. Richardson is a more talented running back than Ahmad Bradshaw, but the power rushing attack is still the power rushing attack.
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