Jets

Warren Sapp: Sheldon Richardson ‘Not That Highly Skilled Of A Pass Rusher’

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Sheldon Richardson (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Sheldon Richardson (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Warren Sapp went after Giants legend Michael Strahan — again — earlier this week, proclaiming that his Hall of Fame credentials don’t make him worthy of induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The outspoken Hall of Famer switched course a day later, going after a Jet instead of a Giant. The victim of his wrath this time around? Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson.

Late in the season, the 13th-overall pick of the Jets in the 2013 NFL Draft said that if the draft was held again — with the same players but after the season — he’d go No. 1.

That sentiment irked Sapp.

“As soon as that kid gets off the ‘I think I was better and should have been drafted in a different position,’ maybe he’ll see his future,” Sapp told the New York Daily News. “Let’s not anoint this kid the next best thing since sliced bread yet.”

Richardson was brilliant for Gang Green in his first NFL season. He played in all 16 games, recording 77 combined tackles, a forced fumble and 3.5 sacks. He also scored two rushing touchdowns.

The 23-year-old was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for November and the CBS Sports Defensive Rookie of the Year.

“If something drives you, it drives you from inside, right?” Sapp told the newspaper. “He’s externally saying it. The draft is not going to be re-drafted. So as soon as he wakes up from this nightmare that’s haunting him … That’s the whole point when we talk about football players not carrying baggage. One play at a time. Let that go. He hasn’t let go of the draft.

“It was Week 15 and he was still talking about it. I was like, ‘Really?’”

Jets coach Rex Ryan said that Richardson’s 3.5 sacks aren’t an accurate indicator of how valuable the 6-foot-3, 294-pounder is to the defense.

“The sack numbers do not always tell the true story, I agree with that,” Sapp told the New York Daily News. “But he’s not that highly skilled of a pass rusher.”

Sapp didn’t even want to hear Richardson’s name mentioned in the same breath as his — at least not when it comes to stopping NFL offenses.

“So if you’re highly skilled, you should be able to rush the passer, right?,” Sapp told the newspaper. “Was he defensive player of the year in college? Was he an All-American? You’re comparing him to a first-ballot Hall of Famer?”

In regard to Richardson’s ability to stuff the run, Sapp mockingly said, “Yeah, a run stuffer in a pass-first league.”

Following the conclusion of his rookie season, the Missouri product said that she should be named the AP NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

““I heard Steven Jackson say he’’s going in the Hall of Fame, but he’’s not going,”” Sapp told the New York Daily News. “”There’’s a bunch of guys that walk around and say a bunch of things about themselves. That’s not the truth.””

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