Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers indicated yesterday that the Jets are not going to use Sheldon Richardson at linebacker this season. Instead he will get more time at the three technique.
Jets DC Kacy Rodgers tells media it looks like Sheldon Richardson has a chip on his shoulder. Says Jets plan on playing him at 3-technique.— Eric Allen (@eallenjets) May 23, 2017
Jets DC Kacy Rodgers said they will try to use Sheldon Richardson more as 3-technique. LB days pretty much over. Said the same thing last yr— Rich Cimini (@RichCimini) May 23, 2017
Cimini is correct here. The Jets did say Richardson's days at linebacker were over last offseason.
Bowles said Sheldon Richardson will be back inside this year. No more outside linebacker. #nyj— Brian Costello (@BrianCoz) March 22, 2016
It isn't just playing Richardson at linebacker. He played plenty of defensive end out wide with his hand in the ground a year ago. The Jets have struggled figuring out how to utilize Richardson, which has been kind of mystifying since he played really well inside early in his career.
It doesn't hold much water to offer his deployment as a blanket excuse for Richardson's disappointing season. I have heard a lot about his talent and versatility. You shouldn't fall off that far from a move outside if you are the kind of athlete Richardson is supposed to be. With that said, the coaching staff hasn't utilized him in a way that has maximized his ability over the last two seasons. That needs to change if he is still going to be on this team.