Sheldon Richardson is a Jets rookie. Most people, much less NFL fans, have never heard of him, but he has decided to assume the mantle of the New York player running his mouth before Sunday’s game against the Patriots.
Richardson’s attack method is not a new one — he’s going after quarterback Tom Brady, and he’s saying the Patriots get special treatment from the league. Such things have been said before. But Richardson did add some originality to his comments, such as his revisionist football history.
“You’re going to see a lot of stuff, man, that the Patriots can do to you, that they get away with, that we can’t do to the Patriots. It’s just the way it is,” he told the New York Post. “It’s just the way the world works.”
Richardson’s beef starts with Brady.
“Why do we make rules after he gets hurt?” Richardson asked, presumably of the rule protecting quarterbacks from players already on the ground, which was made after Brady’s 2008 injury. “I don’t know why a bunch of stuff. They made the tuck rule back when? 2000 when? Tom Brady rule, right? OK, a lot of great quarterbacks have hurt a knee before, but now we can’t hit quarterbacks in the knees now ’cause Tom Brady gets hurt. Doesn’t it seem that way? Right or wrong?”
He’s exactly right, and the NFL did in part make the rule because it didn’t want marquee passers like Brady going down by out-of-position players grabbing at their legs. But it’s that whole tuck rule thing that immediately detracts credibility from Richardson. The tuck rule was already in place when it was famously used to extend a Patriots drive in 2001, and Brady — a rookie — had nothing to do with its formation or implementation.
Richardson said he’s been told by referees on the field not to get too close to Brady or he’ll get a flag.
“Can’t touch Tom Brady unless he’s got the ball in his hand,” Richardson said, accurately summing up the NFL guidelines for all defensive players against all quarterbacks.
Richardson said he’s especially looking forward to Sunday’s game.
“Just because it’s the Patriots,” he said. “I’m ready to go get another shot at these guys. It’s Tom Brady. As a defensive lineman, you look to play certain people, and he happens to be one of ‘em.”
Richardson also had an idea of how Brady has tormented his team.
“He’s a Hall of Fame quarterback,” he said. “He doesn’t make mistakes. It doesn’t matter who his wideouts are, he’s going to win the game, especially when he plays the Jets, apparently. So I just can’t wait to play against him again.”
Every Jets-Patriots game needs its foil.
Photo via Twitter/@Fantasyburgz24