Former Chiefs fullback Tony Richardson made the playoffs twice in his first three years in the league. Kansas City didn’t win either of those games, but he figured he’d be back soon enough to finally win a postseason game. Richardson finally got that victory last week — 15 seasons after his first playoff appearance — as a member of the New York Jets over the Cincinnati Bengals.
“When I was younger and I was in the playoffs quite a bit,” he recalled recently, “you thought you always would be in the playoffs.”
“Then you realize,” he said, “it’s hard to win a playoff game.”
“I tell all these guys here in my circle [in the locker room] and all the young guys on the team,” he said, “that we’re in the playoffs, [so] take advantage of it right now because you never know when you’ll get back.”
By this time last year, Richardson had embarked on his usual grueling off-season conditioning.
“When the season is over,” he said, “I take about two weeks [off] just to kind of let the body relax and the joints recover. But after that I’m back in there every single day, doing some type of cardio, some type of training. By the time I come to the off-season program [in mid-March] I’m in shape. Some guys come there to get in shape.”
“By the time we get to March,” he added, “I want to roll.”
It’s that type of dedication and desire that has made Richardson a role model to all the whippersnappers on the Jets.
Although Richardson still has business to take care of this season, he said, “I don’t see any reason why I won’t be playing next year.”
That’s good news for his teammates, who still will be able to use their many jokes about Richardson’s age.
“I definitely have the best line,” Dustin Keller said. “I was just asking T-Rich to compare coaching styles. What it was like playing for Buddy Ryan as compared to Rex Ryan. … He’ll give you a real quick answer like, ‘I’d like to see what you’re doing when you’re 38 years old.’ Or [is he] 37 years old? He might be 52, I don’t know.”
It was great to see Richardson and the Jets knock out Larry Johnson and the Cincinnati Bengals. The only thing that would be better is if he could put an end to the Chargers’ season.
I don’t care how old T-Rich is he will be an important part of any team he is on for as long as he wants to play. If the Jets decide they don’t want him back after the season, I’d love to see him return to finish off his career in Kansas City. His dedication to conditioning would fit right in with what Todd Haley tries to get done in the offseason and be a fantastic mentor for Jamaal Charles.