° empty

Rico Richardson happy to get second chance

NATCHEZ — All it took was one phone call for Rico Richardson to know his professional football career was far from over.

The former Natchez High School and Jackson State University standout received a call from the Tennessee Titans to workout for a chance to make the team’s 50-man roster, and Richardson said he was just happy to get another chance.

“When I first came out of college, my coaches said its going to be rough coming from a historically black college,” Richardson said. “They don’t think you’re as good or well coached, but you always have to prove people wrong.”

Richardson played wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs last year as an undrafted free agent, but was cut from making their 50-man roster.

Richardson also signed with the Houston Texans in the offseason, but was waived last month.

Though he didn’t get a chance to stick around the locker rooms long, Richardson said he proved to himself that he was ready for the big leagues when he scored the game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When he was released, Richardson said he didn’t dwell on his mishaps, but instead just kept pushing himself to be ready for another chance if it were to arise.

“I never stopped working toward my goal,” Richardson said. “That’s what it’s about, not giving up. There’s a certain point when you know (football) is not for you anymore, but as long as you’re getting phone calls, and you keep working hard for what God has planned for you, you’ll make it.”

Richardson’s chance came again Thursday, but this time, Richardson said his experience with the Chiefs better prepared him to turn heads during the Titans’ workout.

“I learned a lot of things with the other teams,” he said “It’s not always about catching the most balls. It’s about the little things. If you’re supposed to run 12 yards on the route, don’t run 10 or 11, because it’s not always designed for you to make the play, but you might open up a play for another person.”

The Titans called Richardson the following day, and agreed to terms. But Richardson said he knows all too well that there is still a lot of ground to cover.

His next goal, he said, is to make the Titans’ 50-man roster and show the coaching staff that he could be an instrumental part of their program.

“Right now, I’m just out to prove I can play with anybody on any level, no matter where you come from,” he said.

The Titans’ first game is Aug. 9 against the Green Bay Packers.