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There might be no NFL honors for being the best second-year defensive player in the NFL, but Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson isn't looking to fall into a 'sophomore slump' either.

“That sounds like a rookie wall, something I never hit,” Richardson told Darryl Slater (Star-Ledger, June 22). “It sounds a lot like it to me.”

While his coach might be taking in World Cup games in Brazil (Deadspin, June 22), Richardson will keep closer to home, spending time in New Jersey and then back home with family in East Saint Louis.

Richardson knows that to play well, it comes down to proper conditioning and preparation, per the Star-Ledger.

“For me, I like to just stick with [the workouts], because when I stop, I’m kind of a guy who really shuts down everything, so I just keep going ... I’m going to get away from football, but as far as working out, nah, I’m going to stick with it.”

At this time a year ago, Richardson took time off from working out after the strains of preparing for the Combine, but this year Richardson will keep lifting weights , believing that “it’s a time for you to make yourself better.”

Richardson played a stellar rookie season punctuated by some moments reminiscent of Refrigerator Perry.  While the 2013 rookie did see a slight dip in his production in late December, it was nothing like many rookies see come late November or December.

Richardson was worthy of the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honor and should be in good shape to build off his great rookie year.  Richardson told the Star-Ledger's Slater that his "body was dead" after all his Draft preparation at this time last year, so to think that his conditioning will be better going into his second season, with all the knowledge he's gained about how to play in the NFL is pretty exciting.  Working with Mohammed Wilkerson, Quinton Coples and Damon Harrison will allow Richardson to continue to shine in his second season.

Tags: brianbassett, Sheldon Richardson, NYJets , Brian Bassett
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