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Richardson Ready to Roll
The Oakland Raiders made defensive end, Jay Richardson signed earlier this week. The 6’6”, 280-pound Ohio State product was one of the Raiders 5th round picks in the 2007 NFL Draft. When Richardson signed his contract, he did so at the Raiders facility in Alameda. “I was happy to be signed and ready to go for camp,” said Richardson. “I know the coaches were stressing for guys to hurry up and get signed so we could get rolling. The faster I get signed, the more time I can spend on the football part of it, and that’s what counts right now. I was excited about getting signed and being a part of the team, getting ready to go.” Richardson chalked up 53 tackles and seven quarterback sacks, at Ohio State. During the 2006 season, he recorded 25 tackles and four sacks. His change to the NFL has been a relatively smooth one so far, according to Richardson, “Ohio State is the kind of school where, playing on the big stage and having the athletes I played against, has kind of made the transition for me smoother coming in to the NFL,” Richardson said.
The former Buckeye has the mental attitude that he wants to play right away, but he knows the team of Raiders have a great defense and it may take him awhile to find his niche. He says that defensive coordinator Rob Ryan told him he wants him to become a primary run stopping end who can also get some heat on the quarterbacks. Richardson says he likes Ryan a lot and he is one of his favorite guys in the building. “He is serious, but he knows how to have fun at the same time. He knows how to get guys motivated and he takes the defense real seriously. That’s what you need in the guy who is going to be calling the shots for the ‘D’. I am a big fan of his.”
Lane Kiffin also admires Richardson. “I like what he is trying to do with the organization right now. I think things are looking up,” Richardson stated. He also says that he enjoys his new teammates and the fans have been real supportive. Richardson wants the Raider Nation to know he is proud to be here and he is honored to wear the Silver and Black. “I appreciate all the history and the tradition. I appreciate the huge fan base that we have, because coming from Ohio State I’m used to having a lot of crazy fans, and from what I’ve seen already in Oakland, it seems to be the exact same way so I’m right at home.”
Richardson was able to get a taste of what the Raiders young defense is all about, in his first Mini-Camp with the team. He also had the chance to take some time watching and learning from DE Derrick Burgess, who has shined for the Silver and Black the past two seasons. “He is definitely a great player, I knew that coming in. When I got there he was definitely helpful. [He is] a real good guy, real helpful, he is obviously a polished player and has a good work ethic. It will be a good situation for me because I’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot from him,” Richardson added. Approximately a month, Richardson will have the chance to learn more form Burgess as well as the rest of the Raiders defense during his first NFL Training Camp. He will be heading back to Oakland on July 8th, to continue training at the Raiders facility in Alameda and will report for camp on July 26th. Richardson is back home working out, for now, and has just finished attending the NFL Rookie Symposium in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. “It was extremely informative,” said Richardson of the symposium. “It was kind of enlightening and it helps you get a feel for what you’re getting yourself into. They do a good job of trying to get all the young athletes set up for long term success.” The symposium includes videos, presentations, and workshops regarding the operation of the NFL and the challenges faced by its players. The symposium’s agenda composed of topics such as life skills, football operations, personal finance, life as a rookie, personal conduct, media policy, substance abuse, personal experiences, family issues, player development, NFL security, and success in the NFL and life after football.
Now that Richardson is under contract with the Raiders and is ready to move on and move forward to training camp and the season, he is ready to compete. Furthermore, on Saturday, August 11th, Richardson will have his chance to meet some of those guys he has seen on TV, when the team of Raiders takes on the Arizona Cardinals at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland. He hopes to become one of those guys on TV, from there on, that 2008 rookies are looking to compete against.
Richardson will start his journey and also aims for the NFL victory.
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