Jul 30, 2015; Florham Park, NJ, USA;  New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) answers questions from media about his substance abuse suspension during first day of training camp at Atlantic Health Jets Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Richardson addresses arrest, says he needs to rebuild trust with team

Jets DE Sheldon Richardson spoke after training camp Friday and addressed the off-the-field issues surrounding him, including his July 14 arrest that was announced Thursday.

Richardson was arrested in Missouri on July 14 when police officers caught him racing at speeds between 122 and 143 mph, his car smelling of marijuana and found a loaded handgun beneath his seat — all with a 12-year-old child in the back seat (July 30).

Police charged Richardson with traffic violations and resisting arrest. Officers did not charge him with any marijuana-related crime because there were no drugs in the car. Prosecutors felt they did not have enough evidence to charge him with child endangerment (July 31).

“He hasn’t been smart and he hasn’t been clear in the head,” head coach Todd Bowles told reporters. “Clearly, he needs some help.”

The news of the arrest broke Thursday after training camp and after Richardson spoke to the media. He talked about his four-game suspension announced at the beginning of the month from marijuana use on Thursday, but he did not mention news of the arrest until Friday.

“I made a bad decision, not contacting them,” said Richardson, who added he couldn’t go into much detail about the incident because it is an ongoing legal matter. “I didn’t want to get in trouble as far as my own team and my own organization, who’s out here trying to lend a hand for me. I just denied it pretty much. … My parents didn’t even know. They found out on the news.”

Richardson said he has not smoked since his suspension, but still has to regain his trust with the entire organization.

“I let them down, simple as that,” Richardson said.

Bowles said he was more concerned for Richardson’s personal well-being than his football-playing abilities.

“We can win without him,” he said. “It would be more fun with him, but we’re prepared to win without him. The biggest thing is working on getting him better as a person. It’s not when he gets back on the field. It’s, can he get his life together?”

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

The sense around training camp from those who heard Richardson’s comments were that they were for the most part puzzling. It seems like Richardson was trying to do right by trying to say the right things, but just seems so out of context and out of place based on the unfolding events over the last month or so. It’s clear that Todd Bowles is not taking much in terms of allowing Richardson to just go ahead and play with the first team and have everything as if nothing’s happened.

He’s got to earn his way back into this organization’s good graces. That said, I really appreciated the way Bowles spoke about it. He was fair, but firm, and realizes that this is less about football right now and more about a young man’s trajectory in life.


Play of the day – Dexter McDougle over Brandon Marshall

Brian Bassett, TheJetsBlog.com

While there were a number of standout plays during the second day of training camp, the play of the day came from second-year corner Dexter McDougle in the back corner of the end zone in a physical pass defense of Brandon Marshall.

“Me and him were competing,” McDougle said with a smile. “I knew it was coming too, I knew it was coming.”

While McDougle’s training camp was cut short last summer due to injury, he has played the first two days of training camp like a veteran, setting himself up well against the 6-foot-4 Marshall, one of the NFL’s top 100 players for 2015.


Cornerback Dexter McDougle has impressed in the first two days of training camp

“He’s got that big body and he got his body in front of me and I moved to the side,” said McDougle, who stands at 5-foot-11. “I jumped and I had my hand in there. [Brandon] actually pulled my arm down, he actually held it and pulled it down.”

Offensive pass interference?

“That’s never gonna get called,” McDougle laughed. “Once I got my arm down, [I said to myself] I’ve got to push this dude out, so I pushed him out and it was incomplete and we lived to fight another down.”

So what did McDougle and Marshall talk about after the play?

“I said, ‘You’re real crafty.’ He said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said, “You took down my deflection arm and just tried to catch it in one [hand].’ He said, ‘Oh, I know because if I went up with two you had it, so I had to do something.’ I said, ‘Oh yeah, well once you took my arm down I knew I had to push you out.'”

When asked about how it feels to be a younger guy playing against such a well-respected player, McDougle was deferential, but said as a corner in the NFL one can never back down. “It was cool it was fun … It’s good competing against him,” McDougle said. “He’s one of the best in the game, one of the top 100 players, and he can only make us better.”

It’s only two days into camp, but if McDougle is giving Marshall a run for his money, it could spell good things about how this group will fare against the rest of the league this season.


Photo: Peekabo


Defensive lineman T.J. Barnes played peekaboo with me during warmups.

It was a little intimidating … 


TJB Friday Chat – 2pm ET

Join us at 2:00pm ET for our weekly TJB chat.

In order to access the room, you must now sign up for a chatzy account at chatzy.com – click where it says log in/sign up in the top right hand corner. Obviously if you registered already, you can log into your existing account. You will then be able to access the room at the usual address – Chatzy.com/TJB where this week’s password is elephantintheroom.

Apologies for this extra requirement, but it will allow us to moderate the chat more effectively and prevent any abuse or vulgarity. The action gets underway at 2:00pm ET.

Note: This being our first training camp chat of the season, attendance is mandatory.

Update on Richardson’s latest legal troubles

To read more of this story, click here


TJB Podcast: Erik Coleman and Camp Questions

Corey Griffin and Brian Bassett are joined by former Jets safety and current SNY analyst Erik Coleman as training camp begins, and they open up a giant mailbag to answer all your questions about the Jets as things get rolling at Florham Park.

Subscribe in iTunes RSS

E-Mail us with feedback, comments, or questions for a future show: thejetsblogpodcast@gmail.com


Leonard Williams spends opening day of camp with first team

Jets first-round draft pick DE Leonard Williams worked out with the first team on the opening day of training camp yesterday (Youngmisuk, July 31).

Although the Jets defensive line was a position of strength and depth when Williams was drafted, that has quickly changed with the suspension of Sheldon Richardson and likely further punishment due to his recent arrest.

Richardson, who was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy on July 2 for testing positive for marijuana use, was arrested on July 14 for resisting arrest and other traffic violations (July 30).

“He’ll get a bunch of snaps at it,” head coach Todd Bowles said of Williams practicing with the first team in Richardson’s absence. “I mean we have Leger Douzable, Stephen Bowen and we have Kevin Vickerson. We have a bunch of guys that will get reps. But Leonard, we’ll take a long look at him.”

Williams, 21, was taken by the Jets with the sixth overall pick. He will have the opportunity to fill a void and become a key part to the Jets defense in his rookie season.

“Whether what happened to Richardson happened or not, I was still coming to camp with the same mindset to work and see where I fit in and try to earn a spot on the field as soon as possible,” Williams said.



Quotes: What the Jets had to say on Day 1 of training camp

Todd Bowles

Opening Statement…

We’re out of pads. A couple of people fell. Everybody ran around. We’re working the kinks out and we know we have a long process. They worked hard and we will go from there.

On how Geno Smith looked today…

If I said I was watching him the whole time I’d be lying, I was looking at everybody. I’ll have to look at the film to get a better grasp of it. He looked sharp, he had some recall from what he was doing.

On his overall message during the team’s first meeting…

The biggest thing is what we’re here for, accountability. You know we’re going to work hard every day, we’re not going to look past the day. We just try to win the day and get better. We have to be accountable for each other. We have to have chemistry and we have to play as a team. We’ve got to play a lot smarter than we’ve been playing. In spring we made a lot of mistakes and (I) kind of let them know what the rules were and what I wanted, what I didn’t want and we went from there.

On his feelings about Sheldon Richardson’s suspension…

Obviously disappointed about something like that. You know, it’s been awhile since he’s been suspended, we’ve to come to grips with it and help him hopefully get help with his problem. He’ll practice every day and we’ll get him in shape. It will be a good lesson for him. I’m sure his parents are more disappointed than anybody and understands that. His actions will speak louder than his words going forward.

On if he is extra disappointed because of the type of suspension Richardson received…

You’re disappointed because one of your players got suspended regardless of the crime or whatever happened. So from that standpoint you’re disappointed, but at the same time you have to go forward with the other guys.

On his plans for Richardson during training camp knowing that he will miss games…

He’s practicing, I mean we’ve talked about it he understands. He’s running the second team right now to get his reps because he is not playing the first four games. So he understands that and we have that discussion already and that’s how we’ll use him.

On if he plans to keep Richardson on the second team all training camp…

Mostly, depending on what the guys go down and different packages he’ll get some (first team) reps here and there. But for the most part he will get his designated reps on second team.

On when he found out about Richardson’s suspension…

Sometime this summer. I don’t know because I had surgery, it was kind of on my phone a little bit and I hadn’t checked it in a few days. When I found out this summer, we called and talked about it and went from there.

On if he found out about Richardson’s suspension shortly after minicamp…

Yeah it was around that time. It was after minicamp, I can’t say the exact date

On what it means for Leonard Williams’ learning curve to get more reps…

It doesn’t accelerate (his learning. It’s a process. He gets a lot of reps, all of the defensive linemen do. We’ll see how many guys, if not one, how many guys can fill that spot.

On if Williams will the get line share that Richardson would have got…

He’ll get a bunch of snaps at it. I mean we have (Leger) Douzable, (Stephen) Bowen and we have (Kevin) Vickerson sitting over there. We have a bunch of guys that will get reps, but Leonard (Williams), we’ll take a long look at him.

On Muhammad Wilkerson coming to camp…

Mo (Wilkerson) is a good guy, he’s a competitor, obviously every player wants a better contract but he came in. He is a professional. He’s a great guy to be around and we’re happy to have him here.

On out of the guys on the PUP list, which one will be able to come off first…

We’ll see how Willie (Colon) goes, he may be the quickest off the list, but we’ll kind of go from there.

On if he has any reaction to Tom Brady’s suspension being upheld…

Not really, no.

On his plan with the right guard position in camp…

There will be different guys taking different reps in different drills and we’ll get a better feel when the pads come on. They are going to battle that spot out. There are some tough people in there and they are going to battle it out.

On not putting Dee Milliner on the PUP…

He did individuals today and he ran well yesterday and he’s been doing well all summer. In the next two days or so he’ll do more.

On the weather being like this on the first day of camp and having to move inside…

When I played, I don’t think we saw rain for about six years. It’s supposed to be hot but it’s a little different. When the siren goes off and the thunder, it gets a little dangerous and we have to go indoors.

On his schedule with putting practice in the middle of the day…

It’s hot. It’s not Cortland, guys need to get in shape. Some guys ran indoors all summer. We need to get in heat shape. If we practice in 70 degrees then go play a preseason game in 90-degree weather then we’re in trouble, but this helps get guys in shape and helps with curfew at night so guys have nothing to do but go to sleep. It’s just really about getting guys in football shape.

On if Stevan Ridley is close to being able to practice…

He runs well straight ahead, we’re not trying to rush him. We’re going to take it as a process and from that standpoint we’ll go forward and I’ll know more as it goes. But I can’t tell you what his timetable is. I would hope it’s short and it’s a couple of weeks, but I can’t tell you for sure.

On if he had any concern Wilkerson wouldn’t show up for training camp…

I didn’t think of it one way or the other. He came to minicamp which was a positive sign and that says a lot about him. You know the kid, you know the character. You had an idea, but you didn’t know until he showed up.

On if he gets the sense that Wilkerson is bothered that he doesn’t have a new contract…

No. He’s been fine.

On if there are any other guys, other than Milliner, that have some restrictions in practice…


On how different it seemed overseeing the whole operation as a head coach…

It didn’t seem much different. You can’t focus in on certain things or certain groups at one time. You have to go back and look at the film a few more times to see everyone. So from that standpoint it’s a little different.

On if the push-ups have replaced the wind sprints as extracurricular activities in camp…

There will be different things. That is what they came up with. We are in camp and it’s hot and there is a lot of running going on so you don’t really want to run them, temperature wise, and run them after that. So it was push-ups today.


Nick Mangold

On how it feels to be back at the facility for training camp…

We were talking about it before, that being home for camp has a different feel to it. We did it in the lockout year but that was such a crazy year, we never really counted it. But this time it’s fully implanted that we’re here. It’s definitely exciting.

On the new regime in place…

Just great optimism. We had some great work this spring and we want to build on that. I think coming in today guys were excited, guys were ready to go and that’s a good thing.

On feelings going into the night before camp…

I think that was actually last night. Even though we didn’t start practice, just everyone being back together we knocked the conditioning test out. It’s good to be back.

On his performance during the conditioning test…

I’m ready for Rio (laughter). I missed the Pan-Am games.

On the “one day at a time” approach…

You have to because if you start looking ahead you’re going to skip what’s important today. It’s very methodical and you have to do it because you want to make the most of every opportunity you get to be on the field or in the classroom. You want to focus on the moment.

On his reaction to Commissioner Roger Goodell’s decision on QB Tom Brady…

I haven’t even read the full ruling on it and it doesn’t affect us. We have a lot of work we have to do here and things we have to worry about. I think that’s where our focus should be and it is.

On the offense this year and his expectations…

I expect to score some points. I think we have the tools and the talent but we’ve got to put the work in. I thought we had a pretty good spring and hopefully that translates into training camp and we continue that hard work.

On whether the team can be productive and produce touchdowns…

Well it starts upfront with protection and we’ve got to get right with that and let the skill guys do their thing and make the big plays that we know they can.

On if it’s too soon to tell what kind of team they are…

You really don’t know until you put the work in and that’s what we’ve got to do. Everyone is optimistic with what we have in front of us, but it’s going to require putting that hard work in and I think we have the guys to do that.