Browns' Richardson not scared of Giants

Browns' Richardson not scared of Giants

BEREA, Ohio (AP) While breaking down game tape this week, Trent Richardson noticed some gaping holes in New York's defense. He plans to run through them - and the Giants - Sunday.

The Browns rookie running back is aware the Philadelphia Eagles piled up 191 yards - 123 by LeSean McCoy, who got 121 in the second half - last week in a 19-17 win over the Giants. On a conference call with New York reporters, Richardson was asked if he thinks he can rack up some yards against the defending Super Bowl champions.

``Oh yeah,'' he said.

Richardson doesn't lack confidence. Now he just needs a few more blocks.

``If we put our hat on a number (block), just cover them up, I think we can get good yardage on them,'' Richardson said. ``But at the same time, I know they're going to throw everything they can at us. I'm pretty sure they're going to game plan around our running game, so we need to make sure we open up the passing game so we can get some good runs in.''

The winless Browns (0-4) will likely need a big game from the talented Richardson if they hope to snap a 10-game losing streak dating to last season.

Richardson has rushed for 222 yards on 64 carries this season, and the first-round running back seems to be getting stronger after missing the entire exhibition season after undergoing knee surgery. The Giants seem susceptible to the run, and Richardson hopes Cleveland's offensive line can create some cracks in New York's front seven.

``We have to run some outside zone and really need to cover number 90 (Jason Pierre-Paul) as much as we can, and big (Jason) Tuck,'' Richardson said. ``Both of those guys can bull rush and use their power and their quickness because those guys are two big guys that are very fast. I think that if we cover the edges and run hard, not doing all this juking and that, one move and go, I think we can have some success in the running game.''

Richardson missed practice on Friday to be with his girlfriend as she gave birth to his third child. Browns coach Pat Shurmur expects Richardson to travel with the team and play. Shurmur doesn't think Richardson's personal issues will have a negative impact on him giving a good performance.

``I've seen guys go through family situations, personal situations and come out and play outstanding games,'' he said. ``What's important is that he tidies up on the preparation that he missed, which I know he will.''

Richardson should be well rested. The Browns haven't played since Sept. 27, and the 10-day break has given him extra time to recover and prepare for the Giants defense, which is ranked just 23rd against the run.

Richardson had only 14 carries against the Ravens, and the Browns would like to get him as many touches as possible. To optimize Richardson, however, the Browns have to avoid falling behind and needing to throw to get back into the game. Richardson has only played four games, but he's already noticed that teams are designing their game plan around stopping him.

``Most definitely,'' the former Alabama star said. ``That's one thing they always have done. They've seen me play a little bit now, so they're going to try to stop me more than anything now. But what makes it easier on our receivers. If (quarterback) Brandon (Weeden) has 300-some passing yards and we win the game, that's good with me.

``If they key on me and we lose, I feel it's my fault.''

Weeden knows it's vital for Cleveland's passing game to open up the field for Richardson. Without the threat of a passing attack, New York will just overload the line of scrimmage and make it hard to move.

``That's when it's my job to try to do some things to get into a pass or check out of a play and get us into a better play,'' Weeden said. ``You don't want to run against eight-man boxes. You're just running into a brick wall. Your optimal is just to create some space and let Trent do his thing. These guys, they like to play seven- and eight-man boxes, so we've just gotta take what they give us.''

Richardson plans to take us much as he can.


NOTES: Browns S T.J. Ward will play just a few days after undergoing surgery on a broken left thumb. Ward had nine screws inserted during the procedure. He'll wear a protective immobilizing brace. ``I can't grab,'' he said. ``I don't have a thumb. I have a few fingers free. I'll just have to play normal. It's a thumb. It's not like my whole arm is gone.'' ... With Browns WRs Mohamed Massaquoi and Travis Benjamin doubtful with hamstring injuries, rookie Josh Gordon will make his first start. Gordon has seven catches. ... TE Alex Smith will miss his third straight game with a concussion.


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Wizards display lack of urgency in loss to Nuggets and Scott Brooks is frustrated

Wizards display lack of urgency in loss to Nuggets and Scott Brooks is frustrated

Following their seventh loss in 11 games and another lackluster performance in key areas, Wizards head coach Scott Brooks reverted back to a critique that characterized many defeats months ago. He called into question the effort of his team, more specifically their urgency. How they could overlook the stakes at this point of the season and with so much on the line had escaped him.

Brooks wasn't pleased following Washington's 108-100 loss to the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. He didn't like their three-point defense, their inability to force turnovers and their lack of zip on offense. But overall, it was the apparent lack of realization that time is running out in the regular season and off-nights cannot be afforded.

"We have to play with more spirit [and] we have to take some pride in our home court," Brooks said. "We’re building our habits going into the playoffs and these are moments where we need to take advantage because it’s playoff implications in every game."


Pride is something Brooks has referenced after the Wizards' worst defeats since he took over. This one didn't qualify, as they only lost by eight points and had opportunities late to write a different ending. But they were playing a team fighting for their own playoff position in the opposite conference and for the most part did not match their intensity.

The Nuggets, to put it plainly, are among the worst defensive teams in basketball. They were missing their leading scorer, Gary Harris. And they tightened their rotation to just eight players.

Yet the Wizards only managed 100 points, six below their season average, and committed 17 turnovers. Aside from their 33-point third quarter, the Wizards' offense was effectively stalled. 

"We can’t have guys that are not going to participate with hard cuts and hard setups and good screens. We need everybody. It’s not one person, it’s all," Brooks said.


The Wizards only forced 10 turnovers on the Nuggets and only three in the first half. That held back their offense in the sense they had few opportunities for fastbreak buckets.

"That’s where we get most of our offense from anyways, getting stops, getting out in transition," forward Otto Porter said.

The Wizards have lost two straight games. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers and Pacers both won on Friday night.

The Wizards are sixth place in the East and just 1 1/2 games out of fourth, but there is a huge difference in those spots. Sixth could mean meeting the Cavs in the first round and they have won three straight since Kevin Love returned from injury.


The Cavaliers could quickly become the most dangerous team in the Eastern Conference. Their record is deceiving due to Love's injury and they still boast LeBron James, the best player on the planet. No one can control a playoff series quite like he can.

An argument could be made the Wizards would be better off moving down than up, as the seventh spot would match them up with the injury-riddled Boston Celtics. The Wizards are just 1 1/2 games ahead of the seventh-seed Miami Heat.

The Wizards, though, would prefer to move up and they still have a chance to get into fourth, which would mean home court advantage.

John Wall will return at some point, likely soon. In the short-term, Brooks would like to some urgency and for his team to get back to the trademark ball movement that allowed them to go 10-3 in their first 13 games when Wall went down.

"We can get it back, but it’s not going to come back. We have to go get it. It’s time to do it; it’s time," Brooks said.

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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Game 75 Capitals at Canadiens Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


The Capitals (43-24-7) take on the Canadiens (27-36-12) Saturday, March 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Montreal.


The Capitals-Canadiens game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off on NBC Sports Washington with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington after the game for Caps Extra and Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. for postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals at Canadiens
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime


You can watch the Capitals-Canadiens game on NBC Sports' live stream page.


Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.