SANTA CLARA -- If the Indianapolis Colts need a water break during Sunday's game at Candlestick Park, they shouldn't turn to running back Trent Richardson.

"We did not bring him in here, I guess, to be the water boy on Sunday, so he'll be ready to roll," Colts coach Chuck Pagano said during Thursday's news conference, televised live on NFL Network.

Richardson, the No. 3 overall draft pick last year by the Cleveland Browns, got dealt Wednesday afternoon to the Colts in exchange for a 2014 first-round draft pick.

The first two picks of that 2012 draft: Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck went No. 1 to the Colts, Robert Griffin III went No. 2 to the Redskins.

Pagano said Richardson's debut role Sunday will be "as much as he can handle."

Former Colts president Bill Polian said Wednesday that Richardson can easily contribute against the 49ers, aside from pass protection in blitz situations.

"Nomenclature would not be a problem because Andrew's smart enough," Polian said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. "(Luck) knows everybody's assignment on every play, so he could tell him what to do."

The Colts lost running back Vick Ballard, their season-opening starter, to a knee injury a week ago.

Enter: Richardson, who'll team with former Giants tailback Ahmad Bradshaw and 2009 first-round pick Donald Brown in the Colts' backfield.

"This guy is a rolling ball of butcher knives," Pagano said of Richardson. "He fits our system, our scheme to a tee. ... It's great. You have a great young quarterback, a great young runner.


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"We're trying to build a monster. We're trying to build a program for sustained success for the long haul."

The 49ers' backfield looks to be in good shape for the long haul. Aside from ninth-year veteran Frank Gore, the 49ers have Kendall Hunter, LaMichael James, Anthony Dixon and Marcus Lattimore, who's on the non-football-injury list and likely won't debut until 2014. They added depth at fullback this week by signing former Stanford star Owen Marecic to back up starter Bruce Miller.

"You still have to run the football to win at this level," Pagano said. "I know you also have to be able to throw it to win the Super Bowl. You have to have balance."

For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.