Right around this time last year there was nothing but negative vibes surrounding Sheldon Richardson. Richardson had been suspended for failing a drug test (for marijuana) and as he addressed reporters to discuss his suspension and promised to stay out of trouble he neglected to mention that he had just been arrested for driving 143 miles per hour and evading police. This year Richardson says he's lost some weight and is focused solely on "positive vibes."
Richardson could still face a suspension from the league for his arrest, but that's something he knows is out of his control and he won't stress about it until the time comes.
"Positive vibes, man. If I get a letter saying I'm suspended, I'm suspended," Richardson said. "I don't really hang my hat on that. That happened last year, last offseason. It's a new year, you know? I'm past it, I'm ready to play football."
Richardson spent his offseason, staying out of trouble, keeping an eye on his diet, lifting less weights and doing a lot more cardio than normal. This focus helped Richardson drop 11 pounds, down from 320 to 309, which he hopes will make him play faster, lighter and play with more stamina. According to Richardson and Todd Bowles it was a mutual decision for Richardson to lose some weight this offseason.
"A little bit of both. He was a little heavier last year," Bowles said. "Sheldon's a good athlete. He holds it well. He can move, but being a little lighter for him will play into his benefit."
Richardson can't control whether or not he'll end up being suspended at this point, all he can do is stay out of trouble and focus on football and that's exactly where he's directing all his positive vibes. He's ready to have a huge year in 2016 and he's excited about how the weight lose can help him contribute more to what he expects to be a great defense.
"I'll be able to run down the field a lot more," Richardson said. [I] Don't think there's going to be a lot of plays that's going to get down the field on us, but just incase it does, I'm going to be able to do it on a consistent basis."
Chris Nimbley is the Editor-in-Chief of JetsInsider.com/NYJScout.com. He can be reached on Twitter (@cnimbley), or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)