James wants to mentor Richardson

ByMike Wells via ESPN logo
Sunday, August 10, 2014

ANDERSON, Ind. -- There was a familiar sight at Indianapolis Colts training camp on Saturday.

Edgerrin James, the Colts' career rushing leader, attended practice and plans to have an impact on the team this season.

No, the 36-year-old James doesn't plan to resume his playing career. Instead, James wants to mentor Colts running back Trent Richardson.

"Last year, when [Richardson] got here during the middle of the season, it wasn't fair to him with a lot of stuff that was going on," James said. "So I told [owner] Mr. [Jim] Irsay I would come up here during training camp and kind of talk to him and give him perspective on everything he is going through and help him as much as I can."

Richardson's struggles after being acquired from Cleveland in September 2013 are well-chronicled. He only averaged 2.9 yards a carry and lost his starting spot to Donald Brown late in the season.

Richardson, who has regained his starting position, spent the offseason learning the playbook so things can come naturally to him instead of having to think about where he's supposed to go. He rushed for nine yards the first time he touched the ball in the Colts' preseason opener against the New York Jets.

"It was unfair to judge him because it is two different systems," said James, who retired with 12,246 rushing yards. "The terminology is totally different and he was just kind of thrown out there. You can't really get an assessment because there is so much going on for him personally and the things you have to go through in order to be good in this league. This is the NFL; you can't just sign somebody thinking they can come in and be a star no matter how good they have been. It takes time.

"Now he has a chance to put in the proper time and the proper work and get to know his teammates and know the different plays so he can go out and play like he did when he came out of the University of Alabama."