BEREA — Bengals middle linebacker Rey Maualuga said he isn’t impressed with Browns running back Trent Richardson.
Richardson plans on changing his mind Sunday when Cleveland plays Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium.
“It sparks up something in my head, but other than that, I ain’t got nothing to say about him,” Richardson said Thursday following practice.
“I mean, he’s right (because) right now, I haven’t showed nothing. I still got stuff to prove Sunday.”
Richardson only rushed for 39 yards on 19 carries in his NFL debut against the Eagles, failing to post a double-digit gain during the Browns’ 17-16 loss.
The No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft also showed little quickness or acceleration, which wasn’t surprising, given Richardson underwent arthroscopic left knee surgery exactly one month earlier.
“He just didn’t do anything spectacular from what I’ve seen,” Maualuga told Cincinnati reporters. “I’m pretty sure he’s going to want to get after it once he plays us.
“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 — from running screens, missing passes, trying to find a hole when he’s running the ball.”
While Maualuga led the Bengals with seven tackles in their 44-13 loss to Baltimore, Richardson’s 2.1-yard average per carry ranked last among the 22 NFL players with at least 12 rushes in Week 1.
Browns offensive coordinator Brad Childress, though, says there is no reason to be concerned about the former Alabama star going forward.
“I think you guys were shopping for numbers more than anything else,” Childress said. “We like to make everything finite and in a box, but I think you have to trust your eyes.”
Cleveland coach Pat Shurmur adopted the same attitude when talking about Richardson, expressing confidence that the 5-foot-9, 230-pounder won’t be affected by Maualuga’s remarks.
“I don’t worry about all that,” the coach said. “I don’t listen to it, quite frankly.
“I anticipate that he’ll have a better performance in Cincinnati.”
Subtract one, add one
While the Browns will be without suspended cornerback Joe Haden for the next four weeks, linebacker Scott Fujita is scheduled to make his season debut in Cincinnati.
Fujita had been handed a three-game NFL suspension for his role in the New Orleans Saints’ bounty program, but a federal appeals panel temporarily put it on-hold.
“I call him the team lawyer because he’s always in court,” safety T.J. Ward joked. “But it’s great to have Scott back.
“I can imagine how stressful it’s been, not only dealing with that, but he has a new child. Just football in itself is stressful, but you’re dealing with a whole another issue when you’re going to court. And he just got done with the lockout situation last year.”
Rookie L.J. Fort started in Fujita’s spot on the strong side against Philadelphia, but Shurmur said the 10-year veteran will be back with the first team against the Bengals.
“This is an all hands on deck time of year,” Shurmur said. “We know the rosters change week to week, so you put them out there. Let them play.”
Earlier in the day, the NFL office released a statement on the appeals panel ruling, stressing that it “did not say commissioner (Roger) Goodell overstepped his authority.”
Browns linebacker James-Michael Johnson (ribs, oblique) and safety Ray Ventrone (hand) did not practice, while tackle Oniel Cousins (right leg), center John Greco (calf), tackle Joe Thomas (left knee), and tight end Benjamin Watson (thigh) were limited.
Full participants were cornerback Sheldon Brown (neck), tight end Jordan Cameron (groin), wide receiver Joshua Cribbs (knee), linebacker Scott Fujita (left knee), wide receiver Josh Gordon (knee), center Alex Mack (knee), running back Chris Ogbonnaya (left ankle), and running back Trent Richardson (left knee). …
The Bengals have declared cornerback Dre Kilpatrick (knee) out, while tight end Donald Lee (thigh) did not practice.
Cornerback Jason Allen (thigh), defensive end Carlos Dunlap (knee), linebacker Thomas Howard (knee), safety George Iioka (ankle), and running back Bernard Scott (hand) were limited. Cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones (illness) returned after sitting out Wednesday.
In his weekly press conference, Childress claimed there were “13 or 15 things, or 18 things that go in a passer rating.” Rookie Brandon Weeden posted a 5.1 against Philadelphia, which was the sixth-lowest mark by a Browns quarterback since 1960.
“There’s a bunch of them, you ought to look it up,” said Childress, who is in his 14th year coaching in the NFL. “It’s convoluted to say the least.”
Actually, there are only four factors used to determine a passer rating: Completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdown percentage, and interception percentage.
Weeden zeroed-out on the scale in the latter two categories, while barely beating the minimums of .300 in completion percentage (.343) and 3.0 yards per attempt (3.37).
The formula was created by Pro Football Hall of Fame executive Don Smith in 1971, per a request from then-NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle.
The Browns/Eagles game drew a 27.5 rating and 53 share locally, making it the highest-rated television program in Greater Cleveland last week. It also ranked No. 1 in metropolitan Philadelphia with a 24.9 rating and 47 share.
Fox aired the inter-conference matchup on all of its affiliates in Ohio and Pennsylvania, except for Toledo. …
Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker will be behind the mic for CBS’ coverage of Browns/Bengals. The game will be televised throughout Ohio and Kentucky, along with Erie, Pa., Evansville, Ind., Charleston, W.V., and Beckley, W.V.
For the record, the Browns are in second place in the AFC North Division. The league’s tiebreaker system places them ahead of fellow 0-1 squads Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. …
Weeden has 5:4 odds on being the first NFL quarterback to be benched, according to off-shore bookmaker Bovada. The only player with lower odds is Seattle’s Russell Wilson at 4:5. …
Paul Brown Stadium is sold out for the Browns/Bengals game, unlike last year’s matchup, which drew an announced crowd of 48,260 — almost 20,000 below capacity.
Contact Brian Dulik at firstname.lastname@example.org