And Lake had insider knowledge on him. He recruited him when at UCLA.
Is it just me or do the rest of you feel a different vibe coming out of OTAs. I know it's not camp but all the interviews I read or watch seem like there is a new excitement coming from the Steelers players. Not the same routine of Q&As from the same group. Yes, many are new but man I hope this of carries over onto the playing field.
Expectations placed on Shaquille Richardson gives him a sink-or-swim opportunity
By Neal Coolong on Jun 27 2014
Faced with past fifth-round flame-outs drafted by the Steelers as well as future depth concerns at the position, more eyes are on one of this year's fifth round picks than his contemporaries.
Top draft picks get the hat and a grip-n-grin shot with the Commissioner on the stage. The second round picks get something similar, just usually with a slightly hungover crowd watching on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.
Only the die-hards know much about the guys drafted on Day 3. Unless, of course, they play a position most fans feel the team should have drafted much earlier. It's certainly not the fault of Arizona cornerback Shaquille Richardson the Steelers didn't address the position most thought they would on either Day 1 or Day 2. Instead, he embodies the misplaced expectations of a high draft pick.
If Richardson put up comparative statistics as, say, a tight end, fans would not likely have batted an eyelash. Fellow fifth-round pick, Vanderbilt offensive tackle Wesley Johnson, is seen as a guy with upside and will battle for a roster spot.
Richardson carries with him the notion of being a future starter, an impact player, the reason the Steelers didn't address what appeared to be their most shallow position and, with a connection to Steelers defensive backs coach Carnell Lake (who recruited Richardson in high school), someone on whom fans must settle to assuage their fears of future defensive back depth.
At least he's doing the youth camp thing. It's always good to see players taking the responsibility of working with kids.
Fifth round picks haven't fared well in Pittsburgh recently. Terry Hawthorne, cut. Chris Rainey, cut. Chris Carter, possibly on his way out and not exactly in line for an extension. Stevenson Sylvester has been cut possibly more often than any player in franchise history. Chris Scott never panned out and neither did Crezdon Butler (but both ended up in Buffalo).
Mental toughness is a requisite for a cornerback. One with so many trending negatives working against him will need even more of it. Expectations are closer to written vomit than anything tangible. Richardson will likely answer these kinds of questions, and they're more of an annoyance than anything else.
Still, the fans create the storyline they want. His only defense will be to spout off the standard cliches and work hard.
That isn't to say those who went before him didn't do the same things, and that's exactly why fans will pounce on the fifth round pick with unfair expectations. It really doesn't have anything to do with him at all. He's stuck between those hype-fueled expectations and past shortcomings of others.
He can step up and be the hero, earn a dime back position and excel on special teams. He can continue to work to turn that high level of athleticism into a supreme technically-inclined cornerback. He can wilt under the mirage of fan expectations and turn into the next project scooped up by Buffalo.
The tough spot he was placed in on draft day is his to manipulate. He still has a great opportunity with a team that, regardless of the amazingly high amount of improvement Brice McCain and Antwon Blake have made over the offseason, doesn't have much experienced depth at the position in the future.
It's up to him now.
By Josh Alper
April 21, 2015, 4:49 PM EDT
Chiefs waive 2014 Steelers fifth-rounder Shaquille Richardson
Itís not a great sign for a long NFL career when the team that drafts you in the fifth round in May drops you from the roster before the start of your rookie season.
That was cornerback Shaquille Richardsonís fate with the Steelers, however, and things arenít looking up for him. Richardson signed with the Chiefs in February, but Kansas City has already decided to move in a different direction despite having 90 spots on the roster. The team announced Tuesday that they have waived Richardson.
The move leaves the Chiefs with Sean Smith, Phillip Gaines, Marcus Cooper, Sanders Commings and Jamell Fleming at corner. Smithís recent guilty plea on DUI charges opens the door to league discipline that could leave him sidelined for the opening weeks of the regular season.
Richardson finished his college career at Arizona after being dismissed from UCLA along with his cousin and current Seahawks wide receiver Paul Richardson after they were arrested on theft charges that were later dropped.
Final Ruthless Mock:
1.22 CB Marcus Peters, 6'0" 197 lbs., Washington
2.56 FS Damarious Randall, 5'11" 196 lbs., Arizona State
3.87 TE Clive Walford, 6'4" 251 lbs., Miami
4.121 DE Henry Anderson, 6'6" 294 lbs., Stanford
5.160 WR Titus Davis, 6'1" 196 lbs., Central Michigan
6.199 OLB Kyle Emanuel, 6'3" 255 lbs., North Dakota State
6.212c OLB Max Valles, 6'5" 251 lbs., Virginia
7.239 RB John Crockett, 6'0" 217 lbs., North Dakota State