Oakland’s Jay Richardson Determined to Get Raiders to Playoffs
As has become a bit of a preseason custom in recent years, many are writing the 2010 installment of the Oakland Raiders off before they’ve even played a down.
However, don’t count Jay Richardson into that group.
Richardson, a defensive end entering his fourth year in the league, has some big-time aspirations for his Oakland Raiders headed into the 2010 regular season.
“I think this is the year we’ll be back in the playoffs. I think we’re a team that can win 10 games and we’ll be in the playoffs for the first time in forever,” he told NFL Soup.
The team was 5-11 last season, and Richardson spent the entire season looking up at veterans Greg Ellis and Richard Seymour on the depth chart.
With Ellis having been released over the summer, Richardson will have the opportunity to regain the starting spot he possessed for most of his first two seasons.
“I’m gonna have to earn it, because the coaches have told everybody that the best players are the ones that’ll get on the field. All I can do is be the best player I can be.”
While he’s excited to have the opportunity to start again, he was able to learn a thing or two from the pair of former Pro Bowlers.
“Basically they helped me learn more about being a pro. They helped me with watching film and taking care of business on a day-to-day basis. Greg (Ellis) has a bunch of patented moves that he was able to teach me a little bit about. I’ve learned a lot from Seymour. He’s a great leader and a total beast.”
After playing four years at Ohio State (including the 2006 National Championship Game), Richardson had gotten quite accustomed to winning.
However, the Raiders haven’t had a winning season since they appeared in the Super Bowl in 2002, and he says it’s definitely been an adjustment.
“My first year was really eye-opening. I was used to only losing like one or two games a year in college, and I just wasn’t used to losing at all. I’ve learned that you can’t go out there and dominate every Sunday. This is a game of inches.”
Richardson spent most of the offseason training in Miami. As he enters the final year of his contract, some speculate that he may be interested in moving permanently to South Beach.
“I’m not interested in that. The only thing I’m interested in is performing as well as possible this year for the Raiders. I’m trying to help win games this season. That’s all I’m focused on.”
He established the non-profit Jay Richardson Foundation in 2009 as a way of helping give back to his hometown community in Ohio.
“I wanted to find a way to help give back to young men in underprivileged areas. There’s a common misconception out there amongst kids like that that you have to be a professional athlete to be successful. I want to give them the knowledge that they have other options besides being successful in sports.”
Follow Jay Richardson on Twitter @ JayRichardon98