Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Richardson Gets Full Day of Work

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Richardson Gets Full Day of Work

Article excerpt

For the first time since 2003, the Rams opened a football season without Steven Jackson in the backfield. His successor this season, second-year running back Daryl Richardson, acquitted himself well on a day in which his numbers weren't overwhelming, but he got plenty of work.

"I thought Daryl did great today," quarterback Sam Bradford said following the Rams' 27-24 victory over Arizona at the Edward Jones Dome. "They threw a lot of different looks at us. He showed that he has matured since last year both in the ability to run the football and to pick up blitzes. I'm extremely proud of him and I'm excited for what this year is gonna be for him."

Richardson got in a full day's work Sunday, with 25 touches on 20 carries for 63 yards and five catches for 33 yards. With Arizona playing softer coverages much of the game in an attempt to negate the Rams' downfield receiving threats, Bradford chose to check down on several occasions, throwing underneath stuff to Richardson.

On the ground, Richardson did almost all of his work between the tackles, recording a long run of 10 yards.

His best play may have come when he recovered a fumble by a scrambling Bradford with 3 1/2 minutes to play in the fourth quarter. Had the Cardinals recovered, they would've taken over in their red zone in a 24-24 game.

AUSTIN'S DAY

No. 8 overall draft pick Tavon Austin was targeted seven times by Bradford but had modest stats. He caught six passes for 41 yards, with a long gain of 14. Austin also carried the ball once on an end- around early in the fourth quarter but was dropped for a 1-yard loss by Cardinals linebacker Jasper Brinkley.

Other than the end around, there was no real trickery in terms of how the Rams used Austin. He didn't get much chance on punts, either. His only return went for 1 yard; he also had a fair catch.

But Austin's 14-yard reception put the Rams in the red zone early in the fourth quarter, helping to set up Bradford's second touchdown pass of the day to tight end Jared Cook. …

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