RENTON – The New York Jets called the personnel grouping “The Destroyer Package.”
That’s your first clue about the way Sheldon Richardson plays the game of football.
The fact that Richardson – a 296-pound defensive lineman – was the tailback in that goal-line package should give you an idea of the kind of athlete we’re talking about as he was paired with Kenrick Ellis and Damon “Snacks” Harrison for an industrial-strength rushing approach.
“We ran a little wishbone,” Richardson said. “It was awesome.”
This was 2013 of course. Back when Richardson was a rookie. In fact, he was the rookie, getting named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press, not to mention scoring two touchdowns on the four carries he got that season.
A lot has changed since then. The Jets have switched coaches, Richardson was suspended by the NFL and less than two weeks before this season started he was traded to the Seahawks for Jermaine Kearse and a second-round pick.
The Seahawks received a 26-year-old defensive lineman in the final year of his contract who would be added to a defense already loaded with versatile, aggressive linemen. Through four games, he has seven solo tackles and five assists, but he was also part of a pass rush that finally started getting home in Week 4 against Indianapolis.
He joined Danny, Dave and Moore for the Seahawks Spotlight on Wednesday and he was asked about whether players draw extra motivation when they’re in the final year of a contract.
“Some guys do,” Richardson said, “but I’m not like that at all. Because when you do get your money, then what? How do you keep going? What’s your motivation? Because you’ve basically solidified it for the rest of your life.”
And for Richardson, he’s a lifer when it comes to football.
“There are some guys who truly do love football,” Richardson said. “Live, die and breathe football. Like when I’m done playing, I’m going to coach high-school football back home in St. Louis. That’s my end goal.”