BOSTON (CBS) — There’s a lot to learn about New England Patriots second round pick Jordan Richards, who the team selected with the 64th overall pick in the draft.
Richards, a safety out of Stanford, seems to be a bit of the reach for the Patriots, with many mock drafts picking him to go in the sixth or seventh round. But he was a team captain and is an incredibly intelligent player, so it sounds like he fits the Bill Belichick mold.READ MORE: Kyle Van Noy Hosts Christmas Party For Foster Children In Need
After soaking it all in on Friday night, Richards took time to join the New England media. Here’s what he had to say about joining the Patriots:
Question: What was the reaction when the Patriots took you?
Richardson: I mean, just so excited with me and my family here. It’s an incredible opportunity to get to talk with the coaches and Mr. [Robert] Kraft, Coach [Bill] Belichick. It’s a dream come true and I’m just excited for this opportunity and can’t wait to get out there and get ready to go.
Question: Your dad is from Massachusetts. Are you a Patriots fan?
Richardson: My dad is from Natick, so he was stoked for sure. Being a California kid, I can’t say I’m a Patriots fan or I was growing up, but shoot, I can change now.
Question: What kind of pre-draft contact did you have with the Patriots and how much did they talk to you leading up to this?
Richardson: I mean, it’s a long process, so you’re trying to market yourself to all the teams and you don’t really know how much of an impact or an impression you make on any of them in particular. But throughout the whole time I just tried to put my best foot forward and be who I am. And obviously the Patriots saw some interest in that and I’m juiced for the opportunity and can’t wait to go.
Question: Who are you? How would you describe your strengths as a player and a person?
Richardson: As a player, I think I play fast and physical and that kind of touches all aspects of the game, whether it’s [special] teams or defense. And as a person, I think I’m a smart player and I think I’m easily coachable and that I just want to learn and be the best football player I can be, so an organization like the Patriots, I’m going to try to go there and be a sponge and soak up as much as I can from teammates and coaches and somehow contribute to the success of this organization.
Question: Did you have any sense that the Patriots thought so highly of you that you might go in the second round?
Richardson: I mean, it’s tough. You hear ranges from all kinds of sources: high, low. It’s tough to take stock in that because I’m not the one that controls who is getting picked. So I tried not to worry about it and I just put my trust in God that I’m going to get my opportunity some place and that opportunity has come and I can’t wait.
Question: The ESPN broadcast said your teammates call you ‘Coach Richards’ because you know where everyone on the field is supposed to be for all the snaps. Is that the case? And is that just that you know the playbook so well from playing so long? Why was that?
Richardson: Yeah, I mean, for me I wanted to be the best football player I could be and that means as a safety, you don’t just know what the safety does; you know the corners, you know what the linebackers are up to and the defensive ends and the d-line and interior guys. I think it’s just a way of trying to earn the respect of your teammates and show that it means a lot to you and that you’re really serious about that. That’s my goal heading to New England is to just be a sponge and absorb and absorb and absorb.
Question: Did you like being called ‘Coach Richards’?
Richardson: Not at all. Not at all. Not at all, but I love my teammates. They’re too much. I have too much fun with them and I’m so thankful for all that they’ve done that’s helped me get to this stage and have this opportunity.
Question: How close are you to Cameron Fleming, a former teammate that’s now a Patriot?
JR: Yeah, it’s awesome to get to go play with Cam again. He’s a guy that you just respect the way he carries himself, respect the way he works at the game. He’s just a solid person, so I’m excited to get to spend a little more time with Cam out there and just really can’t wait.
Question: How much have you communicated with him within the last half hour or even before that about what’s going on?
Richardson: I haven’t quite yet. I got to talk with Tyler Gaffney, who’s another guy I respect the heck out of and who he is and they way he plays – another former teammate here at Stanford. He sent me a text and I responded back and I said ‘I just can’t want to come out there and join y’all.’
Question: I think Nick Caserio was out at the Stanford Pro Day. What recollections do you have of any time you spent with him that day?
Richardson: Yeah, he was out here at the Stanford Pro Day and I got to sit down and talk with him for a little bit. At the time, you really don’t know, so you’ve got to be on your Ps and Qs and that’s something I don’t feel like I have to get up for, but that’s something that’s kind of who I am in terms of the way I approach the game and the Xs and Os and making sure you take that seriously and you know what you’re doing. So I got to get on the board a little bit with him and talked some football and I definitely enjoyed that experience.READ MORE: 'Get Vaccinated And Get Boosted': Gov. Baker Pushes COVID Shots In Brockton
Question: How much did you play on special teams?
Richardson: On teams? I got to play a fair amount of teams kind of throughout my career. The amount of snaps I got varied year to year, but it’s something that I take really seriously and if you want play football, especially at this level, you better contribute somehow on special teams. So I’m juiced; I’m ready for it.
Question: With your father being from Natick, have you been to this area? Does he still have family here? Have you visited out here before?
Richardson: I do still have family out there and no, he’s never taken me out there so finally I’ll get to go.
Question: Hopefully you like snow.
Richardson: I think I can get used to it. It’s 94 degrees here in California right now. I’m sweating my tail off.
Question: One thing we see in the testing results is you had a very good three-cone drill time with 6.74. What does that reflect in terms with the way you play?
Richardson: It’s change of direction. In playing defensive back there are a lot of different things and it’s hard to –sometimes people argue about translating drills to the game, and it’s whatever, it’s all part of the process. Being successful, I think, as a safety is just a product of knowing the defense and knowing your assignment and your alignment and your kind of eye progression and stuff like that. So that’s the stuff that I really care about and that starts with coaching. I’m going to do my best to take the best notes I can so I know what the heck I’m doing and the adjustments that need to be made. That way I can contribute defensively [and] special teams-wise. Either way, you’ve just got to be a student of the game and take coaching and be a sponge out there.
Question: Where were you when you got the phone call – any type of draft party or anything?
Richardson: No. I’m actually in the car right now with my mom and dad. We’re actually headed up to go see my sister. She couldn’t come home for the weekend so we’re headed up her way.
Question: Were you following the draft on your phone?
Richardson: Yeah, following the draft on the radio.
Question: One of the accounts about you said that you are a Bill Belichick type of guy. What do you know about Coach Belichick and how has David Shaw and his staff prepared you for the NFL opportunity you have?
Richardson: Yeah, I mean speaking first about Stanford coaches – just an incredible set of coaches over the course of my four years that really emphasized the fundamentals of the game; playing as a team and when you’re out there on the field you do your one-eleventh. You don’t try and do anything above and beyond what you are asked, but you do your job and you do it your best of your ability. That’s what I see. I mean obviously it’s from me, kind of as a fan’s perspective, but that seems to be kind of Coach Belichick’s motto and you just do your job and if all 53 guys, or however many people are on that field are doing their job, and putting everything they’ve got into it, the chance of success is a lot higher than when guys are trying to do their own thing.
Question: The arm length looks like a positive from you from a scouting perspective. How does your arm length help you on the field?
Richardson: I don’t know, arm length – I don’t know. It’s nothing I decided, ‘I’m going to have 32 and whatever inch arms.’ It’s all about positioning and getting your body in the right position to make plays on the field and to do your assignment. You use what God has given you to the best of your ability and you use your brain and you just hope to go out there and contribute.
Question: Have you played at all on the line of scrimmage – like a press style?
Richardson: It kind of depends. You see a lot of different offenses in the Pac-12. You see a lot of spread, you see a lot of pro-style, and it varies depending on the game plan. That’s what it’s all about – making adjustments and you go week by week to another new opponent. It’s just all part of the game.
Question: Did you have plans to have a draft party tomorrow or watch tomorrow?
Richardson: I was definitely going to see if we could catch a little bit of the draft on television today and definitely watch tomorrow and then we watched a little bit yesterday, but there’s no draft party right now planned.
Question: Where’s your sister? Where were you headed with your parents?
Richardson: We are headed up to Reno, that’s where my sister goes to school, up in Reno. I get to go see her and enjoy the moment with her, [share] it with her.MORE NEWS: Car Involved In Holbrook Crash Was Stolen From Amazon Driver, Police Say
Read all of the comments from the Patriots’ 2015 draft picks by clicking here.