When the Cleveland Browns traded running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis was happy.
"We go to Cleveland next week, Ross, "Lewis told Ross Tucker and Derrick Brooks of SiriusXM NFL Radio last week. "I feel pretty good about that, a little better about that."
"Anytime a great young player like Trent Richardson leaves your division — now we still get to face him this year, but once instead of twice. He’s a fine player and, I think, has a big career ahead of him, so not bad that he drives two hours west of us instead of four hours north," said Lewis.
It's not entirely a surprising perspective.
Despite the Bengals beating Cleveland in week two, Richardson scored two touchdowns with 145 yards from scrimmage (109 yards rushing).
Cleveland's media asked Lewis about those comments during a conference call on Wednesday, writes Mary Kay Cabot with Cleveland.com.
"You saw a quote taken out of context you mean," Lewis said via Cleveland.com. "I thought Trent Richardson was a fine player, a great prospect, and that was my only comment was to that. He's a very good player. In evaluating him coming out prior to the draft, his two games (against the Bengals) and watching him play last season as a rookie, I thought he was a fine, fine football player.''
But does he feel the Browns are lesser opponent with Richardson off to Indianapolis?
"No, I've never been one to game plan around a position player,'' he said. "Sometimes players are more athletic than others, sometimes backs have an ability to escape outside like a (Eric) Metcalf used to back in those days, Jamal Lewis' strength and so forth. These are very good NFL players and Cleveland has built a very fine football team and we've got to play great football come Sunday to have an opportunity to win.''