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Sheldon Richardson: Move Hogg

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Jets have tremendous talent and depth on the interior of their defensive line. This has allowed them to get creative with Sheldon Richardson. They have enough quality players that they do not need Richardson to man the inside on every play. They can move him around. In recent weeks, they have done just that. Richardson has even started to get some work standing up as a sort of linebacker.

Last week Todd Bowles discussed Richardson's ability to do this.

He stands up sometimes and he goes down sometimes. Depending on our scheme, he gives us a little flexibility there and he can do some things that our other guys can’t. He can drop, he can run, he’s very athletic, a very heady football player. (He) understands the game very well whether he is in a two-point or three-point (stance) so kind of moving him around gives us a little flexibility defensively as far as identifying what we’re in. I think there are a few guys that can do that in this league, but not many. Sheldon is one of them.

Take this play. Richardson is standing up at the snap and drops into coverage.

He's able to get physical with a receiver. It can't be fun to have a 300 pounder obstruct you as you go out on a route.

And he's so athletic that he can get out on Odell Beckham, Jr. and deliver a big hit at full speed as the receiver is making the catch. Again, it is not fun having a 300 pounder drill you at full speed as you are catching the ball.

This is not a full-time deal, though. The Jets are not converting Richardson to a linebacker full-time. Indeed, with the game on the line in overtime, Richardson was able to generate pressure as a lineman, albeit lining up in a few different spot.

He used his speed off the edge to get to Eli Manning.

He also shifted inside to do so.

I am interested to see both what the Jets do with Sheldon down the stretch and how he performs.

Even though I was never wild about the way Rex Ryan shifted Quinton Coples around, I somewhat understood what he was thinking. There aren't many defenders in this league athletic enough to succeed standing up at the snap playing in space yet big and strong enough to succeed inside. Such a player is a matchup nightmare. How do you scheme around such a player if he can go anywhere and find success.

Wouldn't it be funny if he actually had such a player the whole time in Richardson and simply identified the wrong one?