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Trent Richardson: New Team, Same Issues?

Tennessee v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

For many years now, Trent Richardson has had a certain stigma associated with him. Once a top-tier talent with all of the promise in the world, Richardson is now being passed from team to team. While some would attribute this to an apparent lack of field vision on Richardson's part, the real culprit might just be his conditioning and work ethic, and it appears to be holding him back once again.

After tipping the scales at around 240 pounds during his initial meeting with Ravens' officials, Richardson embarked on a vigorous training regimen to slim down and shape up. After all, a job was on the line as the team stipulated that they would offer a contract only if Richardson lost weight. This time Richardson was able to answer the call, and was down to about 218 pounds less than a month later. Now at his lowest weight since his high school days, Richardson felt great, saying "I feel like the old high school Trent."

But now that Richardson is officially a Raven, the story thus far has been just a little different than the one he was telling earlier. After tweaking his hamstring a couple of weeks ago, Richardson missed the entirety of the first week of organized team activities, a crucial time for Richardson to be on the field and showcase his talents amid the crowded backfield.

"I think the workload and the amount of work it takes to be a world-class conditioned athlete is something that he's working on right now. That's what he needs to understand, and that's where he needs to get himself." - John Harbaugh

It's really not that surprising to hear when you figure out that Richardson sort of hit rock bottom this offseason after being cut from the Raiders. It took a month or so of unemployment for Richardson to finally get serious about working out again and practicing, and even then, Richardson still weighed in way above his optimal weight after months of work with his trainer Mike McCoy, which makes me question just how much Richardson has actually been working out.

"When he gets himself [in shape], he's got talent," Harbaugh said. "I'm very certain he'll get there. And when he does, we'll be able to evaluate him." - John Harbaugh

There's no doubting that Richardson possesses a well of talent, but extracting that talent won't come without hard work and conditioning. That might just be a tall order for Richardson.