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DEE, SHELDON: Getting to Know You

Posted Apr 26, 2013

Transcript of first-round selections Dee Milliner and Sheldon Richardson's combined news conference at the Atlantic Health Jets Training Center on Friday afternoon:

On if they knew each other before now…

DEE MILLINER: Yeah we did. We played each other once and we met up again through people training, [Eddie] Lacy and a couple other players on the team.

On what this draft experience has been like…

SHELDON RICHARDSON: It’s a fun experience for me. That’s kind of wild, a dream come true for me, I'm pretty sure [Milliner] too. I mean, you know, he went before me so his experience is a little bit better than mine but it’s all fun and games [laughter]. We got to know each other a little bit better during the week and we kind of hit it off since then. [He] might be my roommate coming in at the camp.

MILLINER: Oh man it’s been a fun experience, great experience. Get out here with all the other players and also just be in New York. I’ve never been up here before. Just to get around the city, you know, they got a great fan base, the city’s great and just have a great time at the NFL draft.

On his greatest weakness…

MILLINER: Greatest weakness ... is that something you can do? A greatest weakness? I don’t think you can have something that you’re great at not doing [laughter]. But, I’ve just been recovering, you know, working on technique and stance more when I get to start the season off just working on that because I’m going to deal with some different coaches. All coaches teach differently and you going to learn differently.

On if he was surprised that he went to a 3-4 team…

RICHARDSON: No, I knew I was kind of versatile coming into the draft and I knew all of the teams liked my ability, I mean, they can find a way to put me on the field and be productive so, no I wasn’t surprised a 3-4 team selected me at all. I was just surprised the Jets got me because after the combine that was kind of the last time I talked to them.

On if the Jets have given any indication on how they plan on using him…

RICHARDSON: No, they haven’t, not yet. I just met everybody today and they’re just happy to see me. Just got a feel, got my feet wet a little bit meeting everybody but nothing too serious, no.

On the advantage of playing for Alabama in terms of being ready for the next level…

MILLINER: I think it helps out a lot. Just to have a coach who, you know, has coached in the NFL, he knows what to expect, what NFL teams look at and players. And then the way we go about trying to get better each day and the way offensive and defensive schemes are, I think it is an NFL type. And so that just prepares us well and the caliber, SEC, that we go up against each week.

On playing on a defense against the AFC East teams…

RICHARDSON: [We are concentrating on] being productive, week in and week out, it doesn’t matter who we play. Whether it’s Tom Brady or Blaine Gabbert, it doesn’t matter, so, I mean, I’m just ready to play anybody.

MILLINER: Yeah, just go out there [and] compete to the highest level. You know, you’re in the NFL now so everybody out there is a great player. Just going out there and doing what you can do, trying to get better each week. You’re going to go up against the best because this is the NFL, and just have to go out there, prepare well, be mentally prepared, and just go out there and [play] your game.

On what type of player he could be…

RICHARDSON: I could be any kind of player they need me to be, honestly. I don’t label myself as one type of defensive tackle. I’m versatile, like I said, that’s one of my main points and that’s why I think they pulled the trigger on me and gave me the phone call. They figured that they could find a place for me to play and be productive, like I keep saying.

On what it means to be one of the few players to come out of his area in a long time…

RICHARDSON: It hasn’t been that long [laughter]. We got a few guys, Adrian Clayborn, you know, Laurence Maroney, guys [like that]. For me, it’s a great feeling man, coming from the inner city of St. Louis and making it to the big stage.

On how much his hometown contributed to his toughness…

RICHARDSON: A lot, a lot actually. You have to have thick skin. You have to watch you’re back a little bit. Going to school I had five principals in four years, so that tells you what type of high school I went to, but I made it through though. Battling adversity is what I do and I’m trying not to battle that anymore so I’m trying to prosper from now on.

On how he was used in his 14-tackle performance against Alabama…

RICHARDSON: Straight forward, I penetrated gaps, one-gap defense at the time and I pretty much pursued the ball really. I was running all over the field, they were gassing us pretty good the whole game, and I mean, it was a great experience for me to go against those guys, but it wasn’t just Alabama, I got week-in-week-out film, and they’ve seen the consistent play and how I got after the ball carrier.

On his learning experience from comments made about Georgia…

RICHARDSON: Oh man, the media takes stuff and runs with it. It was a joke, it was a joke. I [meant] like ‘old-school football’ I just said ‘old-man football,’ I didn’t want to say old-school. They hand the ball off left and right. I think Alabama has a total playbook, offensive playbook, of 14 plays [laughter], that’s about it. Run right, run left, toss right, you know stuff like that, a little play-action here and there. But, I mean, they’re a powerhouse team and you understand why, so I was ready for the challenge, you know, we didn’t execute as much as we were supposed to at [Missouri].

On if he played against Chance Warmack versus Alabama…

RICHARDSON: No I didn’t, I went against [Anthony] Steen, Barrett Jones and D.J. Fluker, those three guys, so I went against the other side.

On his suspension for one game against Syracuse…

RICHARDSON: Oh, man, schooling. Being a little hard-headed, I had a little immature episode but I’ve matured from that moment.

On how playing for Alabama prepared him for the NFL…

MILLINER: I know it prepares you well. Like I said, the way we go about the offensive and defensive schemes is like an NFL type system. And just the way we practice, practice hard, always [doing] one-on-ones against each other. And Coach Saban, he always is going to coach you up, be hard, roll on you, trying to get you better.

On being able to practice and play despite having injuries…

MILLINER: Oh man, because all of the surgeries were nothing. They were nothing major, all of them were minor. And then, I don’t like to miss games. I just try to go out there, if I’m in the game, and play like I don’t have any injuries. I like to go out there. You have to make a sacrifice, so I sacrifice if I have an injury, but I’m going to go out there and play in the game. And then like I said, all of them really were nothing major, nothing real big, and so there’s nothing real big, I can go out there and play in the game.

On his torn labrum…

MILLINER: No, it wasn’t that bad. My arm wasn’t hanging off or anything like that, or broken, so I can go out there and do something.

On why he wanted to be a cornerback…

MILLINER: Because you get to hit, you get to beat up on people. If you play on offense, you’re going to catch the ball and get hit so I want to go on defense so I can put some hands on the receivers and come up on some ball carriers.

On if he always played cornerback…

MILLINER: No, I only played corner like two games when I was in high school. I mostly played offense, I played running back and receiver, and then I played safety also in high school.

On playing in Coach Ryan’s system…

RICHARDSON: For me, it’s going to be a great experience. I watched “Hard Knocks” two years ago [laughter] and I was liking the intensity he brought to the team every practice and that’s just what he wants, his team to get the same output, as much input as he put into it. He’s a great coach, I know he wants his defense to come with it. He tells me they finished eighth overall last year and he said he wasn’t happy with that and you have to respect a man like that.

MILLINER: For me, I know it will be good because he’s a hard-nosed coach. You know, just like I come from a system that I was involved in at Alabama, he’s going to be hard on you, on his players. And then, at corner, he likes to be aggressive and in your face, press them up. And so that fits the same thing that I did, I’m used to, so I just know I’ll fit in with him.

On already having Antonio Cromartie already here…

MILLINER: Just to have a person like him on the team, a guy that has been through a lot of seasons, seen a lot of receivers. He can just come in and help me out. Just teach me some things that he’s seen that he knows can help me out along the way and also could be along with me and help me learn.

On thoughts about the possibility of the Jets drafting him…

MILLINER: Yeah, when I came up here on the visit I felt good, you know comfortable and strong about it because I had a great visit when I came up here. But I knew once they lost [Darrelle] Revis, they would have to get a corner, I didn’t know who’d they get or when they'd get it, but I knew they were going to have take one. I didn’t know I was going to be available, but since I was, I knew they were going to have to take me.

On what made his visit with the Jets great…

MILLINER: I just sat down with the coaches and you know, I felt comfortable with Coach Ryan, [and] talking to the defensive coordinator [and] the secondary coach. All of that felt good, and then the scheme that they run, like I said, it’s sort of like the same thing I did at Alabama, you know an aggressive style, in your face, press type things so I knew I could fit perfectly with it.

On a style comparison to any other cornerback in the NFL…

MILLINER: No, I just like get some things from other corners, I won’t compare anything. I just know watching like Champ Bailey, Patrick Peterson, Joe Haden, and of course, Darrelle Revis. I just look at those guys and see what they do well and try to learn from them.

On if he knows Darrelle Revis…

MILLINER: No, I don’t.

On if he’ll reach out to Revis…

MILLINER: Yeah, I’ll reach out to him if he can help me with some things. You know, like I said he’s a great corner and I know he can help me out.

On his athleticism at his size…

RICHARDSON: That has to go back to my upbringing. I played multiple sports, I never really just [played] only football. I [played] basketball, baseball and my father kept me year-round and most definitely said, “If I don’t have you doing something constructive, you’re going to eat me out of house and home.” I pretty much just had to stay busy, I mean I sacrificed as a little kid. I didn’t do too much, I never really played outside and when I did I was always too much stronger than the kids and we played on concrete so hurting other people’s kids wasn’t going down either, so I pretty much just kept it organized and just stayed in sports. By me playing basketball I think it got my hips working and being what you said now, I like to convert a little bit of everything into my craft.

On expectations of starting this year…

MILLINER: No, it’s just you really can’t look at it like that, you just try to go out there and compete. Try to do what you do. Try to get better each day and then eventually that will come if you’re doing well and just doing what you’re supposed to do.

RICHARDSON: I want to start, let’s put it like that, but they didn’t draft us to come sit behind anybody, that’s for sure. The position we’re in right now we have to take control of it and we have to make the best out of the position we’re in now. And I’m pretty sure that me and Dee are going to most definitely put our efforts into getting a starting role.

On his weight…

RICHARDSON: About 292 right now.

On if he’s comfortable with his weight…

RICHARDSON: I’m fine right here, I play in between 285 and 295 so I’m right in between that, right at my playing weight right now.

On playing in New York and being able to deal with the spotlight…

RICHARDSON: I’m fine with it. It’s a conversation and you just have to know how to answer questions and not to give [the media] too much to go along with [and] write, so you just have to know how to keep it professional and have fun with it like I do, go or bad.

MILLINER: Yeah, you just have to watch what you’re doing, just pay attention to things. New York is a big city, a big market place, so you know whatever you say, whatever you do, [will] be well-watched and televised and put out there. So you just have to be comfortable, stay humble, stay relaxed about what you’re doing and you’ll be all; right.

On comparisons to Revis…

MILLINER: I’m not really worried about the pressure. I’m just coming in, being my own man and just creating things for myself and going out there and competing for what I can do [and I will] try to make plays. But the comparisons and all that, that’s not for me, I’m going to leave that to you media] and let you do that and hopefully I just come out great.

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