There are those NFL players who we might have some concerns about regarding their transition to life after football.
Jay Richardson is not one of them.
For one thing, he has just a great attitude about things. Take, for instance, his position as a street free agent defensive end signed by the Jets before April’s draft.
“I’m feeling great,” Richardson told me last week with the boundless energy of a genuinely positive person. “This is a wonderful team and organization. I was in Oakland for 3½ years and Oakland is a little different world. The Jets are a good team that has made the playoffs. They took the year off last year but they’re a great team with great character. People talked about a ‘circus atmosphere’ here but I haven’t seen that. It’s great here, a great group of guys.”
Jay knows a few of those guys better than others. He was on some strong Ohio State teams of the mid-2000s that also featured Buckeyes teammates Nick Mangold at center and Santonio Holmes at wideout.
Richardson also knows about having to take a year off. He did that in 2011. After those 3½ seasons in silver and black (during which he started 22 games and produced 81 tackles and seven sacks) and a half-season with Seattle, he became a free agent after the lockout was ended and couldn’t find another team at the time that wanted his services.
“Nobody called, but I kept busy,” he said. “I did a little world traveling, going to Switzerland and Italy. And I started my own insurance brokerage.”
He called it JR & Associates, and if you need an auto or homeowner’s quote or just want to see how smartly he’s set up his company online, you can click here.
Richardson also stayed in pro shape because, as he said, “I’d like to think I had decent production and I wasn’t done playing. I was happy to get the call from the Jets. My body feels amazing after the year off. I’m excited. And I love Coach [Karl] Dunbar. He’s a big 4-3 guy.”
Whether or not Rex Ryan, Mike Pettine and Dunbar, the Jets’ new DL coach, are going to incorporate more 4-3 into their scheme, Richardson has a shot to fit in. The 6’6″, 280-pound Ohioan, who’s got length and size similar to first-round rookie Quinton Coples, is fighting for a roster spot again, but this time on the East Coast. He’s in the end/tackle mix with Muhammad Wilkerson, Coples, Mike DeVito and Marcus Dixon.
There are no guarantees for JR, of course. The veteran minicamp next week will be important for him, as will training camp at SUNY Cortland in August. But in between those two events — actually right after the end of the minicamp — Richardson will have one more life-affirming personal event to preside over.
That’s the Mind, Body & Heart Youth Excellence Summit 2012, the annual life-skills camp for kids in the Dublin, Ohio, area staged by the Jay Richardson Foundation. The event is set for June 15-16 at Dublin Scioto High School, Richardson’s alma mater. If you’re a Jets follower, a Jay Richardson fan, or a kid who wants “assistance in developing a game plan for high school and college,” see the Website for what will undoubtedly be a positive experience.
Tags: Jay Richardson, Karl Dunbar, Quinton Coples
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