Sheldon Richardson doesn’t believe in participation trophies.
The Seahawks defensive tackle made that very clear in the Player Spotlight, which airs weekdays at 5 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.
He is an incredibly engaging interview. He also has an adorable daughter and is making an increasingly evident impact in his first season as a Seahawk.
“Think about how much he has been around the football already,” coach Pete Carroll said on Monday.
Well, he intercepted a pass in Seattle’s Week 5 victory against the Rams in Los Angeles. He also recovered a fumble that game, and on Sunday night against Philadelphia, Richardson forced the fumble that turned out to be the most important play of the game.
Five minutes into the second half, the Eagles faced second-and-goal from the 7. Quarterback Carson Wentz scrambled forward and dove – head-first – toward the goal line. We’ll let Richardson pick it up from there.
“I saw somebody hit him – find out later it was Earl – and then just took my shot,” Richardson said. “It was a rip opportunity and I took it. They preach that around here: Get the ball off of him.”
The ball came loose and squirted into the end zone where linebacker Michael Wilhoite tried to recover it only to have it go out of bounds before anyone gained possession. The result was a turnover, the Seahawks showing that no one forces fumbles through the back of the end zone like the Seahawks force fumbles through the back of the end zone.
It’s the second time this season the Seahawks have been awarded the ball in that way on a touchback and the fourth time in the past four seasons – even if Jim Moore still doesn’t think that rule is exactly fair. After all, if an offensive player fumbles the ball at say the 20-yard line and the ball squirts out of bounds, the offense retains possession.
“So why would it be different in the end zone?” Moore asked Richardson.
“Because it’s the end zone,” Richardson said.
That’s right. It’s a magical place.
“Yes it is,” Richardson said. “You can celebrate in the end zone. It’s a great place. People want to see 60-yard touchdowns and all that, you fumble that thing in the end zone, it’s now our ball.”