When the New York Jets face the Indianapolis Colts today in the AFC Championship, former Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson will be front and center of the Jets offensive attack. In today’s Kansas City Star, Jason Whitlock takes a look at just how important Richardson has been throughout his career.
After 11 years in Kansas City, the Chiefs and Herm Edwards decided they didn’t need Richardson anymore. It was an odd decision. Larry Johnson averaged 5.2 yards per carry running behind Richardson. The next season, with Richardson in Minnesota, Johnson’s average dropped to 4.3.
Funny, the same thing happened to Adrian Peterson when Richardson left for New York. With Richardson paving the way, Peterson rumbled for 5.6 yards per carry as a rookie. He’s dipped to 4.8 and 4.6 yards since Richardson donned a Jets helmet.
“I think (Brad) Childress was looking for an opportunity to get younger,” Richardson explained. “My two-year deal was up, and it was a chance to get someone younger and cheaper.”
Thomas Tapeh, Richardson’s Minnesota replacement, didn’t last the season.
Richardson says he plans to play at least one more season. The Jets love him. Last week against San Diego, Richardson landed the key block on New York’s fourth-and-1 run that iced the game.
“We knew what we were going to do and they knew it was coming,” Richardson said. “It’s a blast play. It’s just me and a linebacker in the hole.”
Richardson says he’ll work with the NFLPA when he retires and continue to live in Kansas City.
“I love Kansas City,” he said. “I still have my (charitable) foundation there and my home.”
First, T-Rich knocked Larry Johnson out of the playoffs. Then he took down Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers. Now he will get a chance to send the league MVP off to the golf course. There is no player more deserving of a trip to the biggest event in all of professional sports.
Even though Jets fans have been absolutely impossible to deal with the past couple of weeks, I will have no trouble rooting for New York later today. A bunch of unbearable New Yorkers is a small price to pay to see one of my favorite Chiefs hoist the Lamar Hunt trophy.