Saturday, August 2, 2014

Tiny Richardson: 'It seems like everyday we have put in something new'

Antonio 'Tiny' Richardson talked with Daniel House and explained what it is like to be with the Vikings at training camp. 

Updated: August 2nd, 2014 2:55pm

By: Daniel House

Antonio 'Tiny' Richardson is a big man, but he uses his 6'6" frame as an advantage on the football field. The Vikings signed Richardson as an undrafted free agent and since his arrival in May, the coaching staff has noticed his abilities. Tiny was a second or third round grade on some draft boards, but arthritic knee concerns led to his fall out of the NFL draft. The training staff continues to indicate his knees are in perfect health and that he is ready to contribute with the Vikings. Richardson is known for his time with the Tennessee Volunteers in college and he continually displayed his superior down-hill blocking skills. Tiny is very excited to be with the Minnesota Vikings and is seizing the opportunity to learn at the professional level.

"It's been great, it has been a great experience so far. Learning from the vets, learning from these coaches, and just getting better everyday," Richardson said.

Richardson is working with offensive line coach Jeff Davidson to learn how to handle certain situations on the field. The coaches are really stressing finishing the play and securing the ball in the event a turnover occurs.

"The biggest focus is just knowing your job, knowing your assignment, being an aggressive offensive lineman, finishing at the end of the play, ball security, rushing down the field, that's all a part of ball security, that we play emphasis on in our offense; as far as getting down the field. If a ball is to come out, making sure that we are sprinting down the field and giving a great effort," Richardson added.

The biggest transitions for Richardson since he entered the league in May, is the physicality of the of the defensive lineman, the playbook depth, and expectations of the NFL.

"The depth of the playbook and probably the overall speed of the rushers. It has been a thing I have been adapting pretty well to. Just all about staying in the playbook everyday, taking the coaching, and over time you will get better and that's what I'm doing," Richardson explained.

Richardson is very excited to work with offensive coordinator Norv Turner, but he understands his expectations are extremely high. The depth of the playbook is massive and the amount of installs being implemented is testing the knowledge of all the players on the roster.

"It's a lot asked out of you. [Turner] demands a lot out of us as an offensive line. It seems like everyday we have put in something new. We've had six or seven installs so far and it's been very heavy, but that's what's asked of us as pros and that's what I'm going to continue to do; is stay in that playbook and learn what I need to learn to get where I need to be," Richardson said.

Richardson enjoys playing football and displays passion for his job. He knows not many people have the opportunity to do what they love and he cherishes the chance he has to play in the NFL.

"The thing is; you are pros. This is what we do, this is our job, and I just love it because, to do something you love and for it to be your job, it really doesn't make it a job. That's the thing I love about it," Richardson concluded.

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