Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson will serve a one-game suspension to start the regular season, which makes it two years in a row that Richardson will miss the opening of the season because of league discipline.
Other than injury, those off-field issues represent the biggest obstacle to Richardson’s continued success on the field. Richardson seems to recognize that, telling reporters that he “got my head right” this offseason when asked about his maturity.
Words are one thing, but actions will tell the tale. One way that Richardson has tried to show a better approach has come in his dealings with defensive line coach Pepper Johnson. Richardson has been more open to Johnson’s coaching in their second season together.
“I’m a little more compliant this year,” Richardson said, via Newsday. “Last year, I was a little more hardheaded. I felt my way worked. I felt like I knew the system. We were trying new stuff, so I just was being hardheaded. That’s all.”
Richardson is signed through next season after the Jets exercised their fifth-year option on his contract and the size of the deal that will follow his rookie one will be determined in large part by how things play out over those two years. Buying in on the field while keeping things quiet off of it sounds like the best formula to making that deal a big one.