Nick Richmond: Big Strides Down a Long Road

When it comes to the offensive line, the Chargers have a history of turning light investments into heavy contributions. That could be the case again with Nick Richmond, an undrafted rookie with incredible size and strength. In this exclusive interview, Richmond talks about his path to the NFL and the "long steps" he still needs to take.

Nick Richmond was a part-time starter over his last three years at TCU, spending time at both left and right tackle. The behemoth (6-foot-8, 309 pounds) looks like a prototypical lineman but must improve his technique and assertiveness.

The Chargers view Richmond as a developmental project and will give him a chance to hone his skills on the practice squad, assuming he shows well during training camp and the preseason.

For more on what Richmond must do to succeed, we check in with the man himself.

LaShana Marshburn: What made you sign with the Chargers?

Nick Richmond: San Diego is like a second home for me. I mean, with TCU's conference, I'm out West. San Diego was like a second home to me after so many bowl games. I was kind of used to the climate and the atmosphere.

LM: How did your time at TCU prepare you for this opportunity?

NR: TCU prepared me for the mental aspect of it. You have to work hard and play smart. TCU really drives you to be your best.

LM: What were the first couple months of practice in San Diego like?

NR: It was a mental grind being a young guy and trying to be in your best condition while learning a new technique. I really got into that playbook every day and was learning new plays every day. I push to do the best I can at everything.

LM: Were the minicamps and OTAs what you expected them to be?

NR: Yeah, everything has been about what I expected. You come in not knowing anything and just kind of get thrown to the side. I kind of expected that, but the good thing is I'm a level-headed guy, so I can take on a lot of pressure and perform gradually. I know it takes long steps to get where you want to be.

LM: Have the Chargers veterans helped you start taking those "long steps"?

NR: Yeah, I would say pretty much all the offensive linemen have been doing that for me. Tra Thomas came in and he's helped me a lot. He's a 12-year veteran. He's a tall guy (6-foot-7) and I'm a tall guy, so we have the same aspects I should be looking at while I'm out there playing.

LM: What about people outside the organization? Do you have anyone else in your life with NFL experience that you can lean on?

NR: Yeah, I had some friends who have actually gone to the NFL. They told me about some things, but not all the things that I am going through right now. It was a good heads-up, but it wasn't very much.

LM: What must you improve on between now and the start of the preseason?

NR: Confidence and balance. Just staying confident in my plans and knowing my correct assignments.

LM: And what are you working on now to help you achieve those goals?

NR: I'm staying in the weight room leading up to training camp. The things you do now weight room-wise are going to carry you through training camp. But those things will slowly fade away because you can't get in the weight room too much during training camp. So I'm focusing on that in the offseason while I can.

LM: Final question: What can you add to San Diego's roster?

NR: My key skill is my dependability. I want to continue to learn and to be perfect in my technique. I want to fit in, whether it's the left or right side. Then, I just need to stay healthy so when they call on me I'm right there. They know I can do it and I'm prepared and they can count on me.



Is Richmond a future starter at right tackle? Discuss inside the message boards.




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