BEREA - We finally discovered how badly Browns running back Trent Richardson was hurt for most of the season.
With the season having concluded and there being no need to conceal injuries, Richardson revealed that he had two broken ribs. He was severely limited in every game after breaking the ribs in a Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"It's tough playing like that," said Richardson, who finished with 950 yards and 11 touchdowns on 267 carries. "I'm the type of guy when anything is hurting and I feel like I can play, I can play. I played the whole season like that.
"Talking to Jim Brown and a lot of other guys, they said, 'I don't know how you're doing it.' To play the whole season like that and to have the type of season I did have on the receiving end, blocking and running, I didn't think it was that bad."
Richardson still sleeps in a tilted posture, leaning on his right side.
"I can't lie on my back or my (left) side still," Richardson said. "For the first three or four weeks I had people help me get dressed and help me in the shower and everything. It was tough."
The injury affected Richardson's burst in that he always had to prepare for taking a hit. He was hurt one week after the Bengals' game when he took a hit in the side in the first quarter against the Indianapolis Colts. After that he didn't tell coaches when he was hurt so that they wouldn't remove him from the game.
Richardson is anxious to get some rest and heal the ribs. He's anxious to go to training camp next July healthy and ready to show fans what he's capable of doing.
"I wasn't satisfied with my season at all," he said. "Looking back on it there were some times when I was in position where I couldn't do anything. I made something out of it. My offensive line picked me up and they got better as the season went on.
"I think we got away from the run a little bit at the end of the season, but that's due to being behind. That's football. At a time like this you have to discipline yourself and make sure that you criticize so hard to where you won't make mistakes next year."
NO WAY: Richardson would like to be reunited with his college coach, Alabama's Nick Saban, but he doesn't think that Saban will leave the Crimson Tide.
"I doubt if I could (convince him to come here)," Richardson said. "That would be pretty tough. When coach Saban has his mind made up, he has his mind made up."
NOT CONCERNED: Quarterback Brandon Weeden could be impacted more than any returning player when a new head coach is in place next season. It's not certain that Weeden will be the choice to start.
"Concerned isn't the right word," Weeden said. "I'm confident, but I'm also anxious. You never know whichever route they decide to go. Mr. (owner Jim) Haslam and Mr. (CEO Joe) Banner know what they're doing, so we have full confidence in those guys. As a quarterback, yeah you want to know what's happening and what you're going to be working with scheme-wise, but that's really the only unknown right now."
GETTING BETTER: Weeden said that his injured right shoulder feels better but that it would have been difficult to play last Sunday.
"I could throw tomorrow if I needed to, but I'm going to give my arm a break and mainly focus on running and staying in shape," Weeden said. "It's a long year. You have to let that thing rest every once in awhile."
ONE MORE TIME: Pat Shurmur talked to the players shortly after receiving news that he had been fired Monday morning. Like his post-game speech on Sunday, it was emotional.
"Coach Shurmur was very emotional," receiver Greg Little said. "That's what I expect from somebody who pours his heart into it. This is his life. This is what he wakes up and does every day."
COMING BACK: Haslam said that the assistant coaches were told they could look for employment elsewhere but that they'd have a chance to return to the Browns if the new head coach wants to retain their services. Safety T.J. Ward was asked about the possibility of defensive coordinator Dick Jauron returning.
"Without a doubt. Coach Jauron is a great coach," Ward said. "I learned a lot from him."