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Richardson learning to play in NFL

KANSAS CITY — Rico Richardson is focused on one thing — learning his new team’s playbook.

The former Natchez High School and Jackson State standout, who signed a free agent deal with the Kansas City Chiefs shortly after this past NFL draft, said things are much different than they were in college.

“The playbook is super-huge,” Richardson said. “It’s very different. In college, we ran the spread offense, whereas (Chiefs head coach Andy) Reid likes to run the West Coast (offense). There’s much more to it.”

Richardson got to Kansas City May 9 to participate in rookie mini camp. He is currently participating with the rest of the Chiefs in organized team activities (OTAs), which will last until June 8. Richardson will then return home before minicamp begins in July.

“So far, it’s been kind of cool,” he said. “The veterans are trying to learn a new playbook, too, but they’ve been here a month before the rookies, so they’re a month ahead. This is going to be a good journey, seeing how it’s going to play out.”

Richardson also said he’s been impressed with the caliber of athletes he’s had to go up against in drills. In particular, Richardson said he’s been very impressed with the play of star Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe.

“These guys are the real deal — there’s no fake advertising,” Richardson said. “Dwayne Bowe is one of the best wide receivers I’ve seen. He’s going to run crisp, right routes, and he’s going to make defenders look bad. I’m just going to try to learn from him.”

After he gets home from OTAs, Richardson said he’s going to try and get in even better shape before her returns in July. He’s also going to be doing even more studying of his playbook. Despite the Chiefs running a different offense than what he ran at Jackson State, Richardson said his role as a receiver isn’t too different.

“You just have to work your way up to the top,” he said. “You’re not just going to come in and start like some people think. It’s just learning new plays, and that’s basically it — but that’s the case everywhere you go.”