Jay Richardson is a defensive lineman playing for the Seattle Seahawks. His blog — “View From The Sidelines” — chronicles his path pack to the NFL after suffering a knee injury and being released by the Oakland Raiders following training camp in 2010.
Sorry it has been so long since my last update. A lot has changed. As a matter of a fact, I should probably change the name of this cleverly titled journal. The reason being, I am no longer on the sidelines. I am blessed to say that, as of about five weeks ago, I’m back on the field. I could have never planned it this way but I’m very thankful of the outcome. I am now a Seattle Seahawk…(for now). God is good.
So let’s get all caught up, shall we?
How I Landed In Seattle
About seven weeks ago Al Davis called me while I was in Ohio and told me they were eligible to sign me back in a week. He wanted me in Oakland during the week leading up to that so that they could work me out and get me back in some kind of shape other than round.
I was nervous because I knew I wasn’t completely healthy, but excited about the opportunity. I prayed about it and decided to take his offer.
They flew me out on a Sunday and we worked out Saturday morning. I’m still not sure how i made it through that. I hadn’t ran since September (docs orders, I’m not lazy, I promise). Once we were finished, I spoke with some of my old teammates and coaches and then went back to my place and waited.
The time came for them to make a decision and Mr. Davis said because of injuries, they would have to wait another week to sign me.
“No big deal,” I thought since I felt I needed the time anyway. The next week, I didn’t hear anything on Sunday so I took off to Vegas to check on someone close to me who was ill.
The very next day, I get a call from my agent Joel Segal asking me if wanted to workout for Seattle. Apparently they had some injuries along the defensive line and needed help.
This was kind of surprising to me, but I was game. They flew me out that afternoon and I was on the field the next morning bright and early.
Crazy, I know! One moment I’m relaxing in Vegas, the next I’m on a cold indoor field in cleats about to attempt to run and cut. I said a little prayer and went to work.
I guess they liked what they saw (or they were desperate ! Lol) but they signed me the next morning. Just like that, it was back to work for me.
In The Blink Of An Eye
It all happened so fast I couldn’t really process it. I was on the practice field and in a stance before I could blink. I just did the best I could.
Now, I’m basically thinking that they just need my as a practice guy and I’ll wear a baseball cap on game day and wave a fresh towel. I figured they’d work me in slowly and use me if the absolutely needed me… I figured wrong.
I was told I’d be active by my coach on Friday and that I’d be backing up the starting end. This came as a shock to say the least. I’m basically going from the couch to playing against the New York Giants in four days! That’s not everyday stuff, but God never puts you in a situation you can’t handle.
I did my best to learn the playbook over the next two days and on Sunday, I went to work. Not only did I play, but I played a lot. I actually didn’t play too bad–had a couple tackles and tried to knock the rust off without getting embarrassed. We didn’t win, but I was just thankful to be doing what I loved again.
Since then, we played five games and our record is 6-6, tied for the division lead. We have a shot to make the playoffs if we continue to play better.
It’s all still so surreal to me. New team, new city, new people, same great job. I’m truly thankful and I don’t take a moment of it for granted. I’ve gotten comfortable with the city in the past few weeks.
Found a place to stay, rented a car, and even found a good BBQ joint out here (imagine that) and know my way around the city pretty well (thank God for GPS).
My family is all healthy and doing well. My little bro Josh had his tonsils taken out and he’s making a speedy recovery.
Love the home stadium and crowd here. It’s real hype when were playing well.
All in all, things are working out. I’m just taking it one day at a time and thanking God every day.
Jay Richardson’s Blog Archives:
In 1999 Jay founded the non-profit organization, The Jay Richardson Foundation.
The charity is guided by philanthropic principles aiming to provide opportunities to socially, economically and/or academically disadvantaged youth.
Learn more at jayrichardson98.com