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Happy Wednesday all. 

With Mizzou and the Rams on a bye this weekend, conventional wisdom would suggest there is very little football worth discussing inside the state lines. 

But conventional wisdom deserves a kick to the junk. 

When the New York Jets drafted Mizzou defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, it was met with a lot of skepticism. After 10 weeks in the NFL, it's safe to say the Jets made a great selection.

Drafted No. 13 overall, Richardson has been a major factor for the Jets’ defense which is allowing an NFL-low 73.8 rush yards per game. The 6-3, 294-pound defensive tackle is effective in defending the run and providing an interior pass rush.
 
Richardson has played in all nine games with eight starts, registering 41 tackles, 2.5 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass defensed.



Rex Ryan says: “This young man can almost do anything you can ask a D-lineman to do. We take advantage of a guy’s movement skills, we take advantage of the athleticism of our guys, so to me he certainly fits us. It is rare to have a guy with that kind of athleticism. I mean, he’s never off his feet unless he’s making a tackle.”

"Yeah, (he has a) high motor. (It is) rare to have a guy with that kind of athleticism. I mean, he's never off his feet unless he's making a tackle. I remember seeing a guy like Lee Roy Selmon. That was it. The only time he's ever on the ground is when he's making a tackle. I'm not saying he's Lee Roy Selmon, but that would be nice."


Sheldon Richardson says: "At my position, you either eat or be eaten, simple as that. And I refuse to be eaten."

Imig says: Rex Ryan is annoying but the man knows his defense. I would also never attempt to eat Sheldon Richardson.

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT RICHARDSON

NFL writer Erik Fenz: "Through Week 9, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) has him ranked as its top rookie at any position. He's been one of the most consistent rookies in the league, finishing with a positive grade in all but one game this year, and has been especially surprising in run defense.
As a pass-rusher, he has created 19 total pressures this season (13 hurries, three hits, three sacks)."

This season, PFF indicates that Richardson has 18 stuffed runs, which is tied for third-most in the league. Power may not be Richardson's strength, but it's not yet been his undoing.




To recap, Sheldon Richardson is playing like a monster. He's the shining nugget in the Mizzou Pipeline. Since 2009, only Florida and Alabama have produced more first round picks in the NFL. 

RAMS ROOKIES REPORT

RB Zac Stacy (Round 5, No. 160 overall, Vanderbilt):
Since becoming the starter in Week 5, Stacy has rushed for 533 yards, the third-most in the NFL over that span. He recorded back-to-back 100-yard rushing games, becoming the first Rams rookie to accomplish the feat since Steven Jackson in 2004. 
 
Says Kellen Clemens: “From the moment that Zac took over the starting spot, he’s been a great weapon for us. He’s a great runner. And he’s also very good catching the ball out of the backfield. We’re lucky to have him. He’s stepped up in a big way.”

Imig says: The Rams don't miss Steven Jackson one bit. I'll take Stacy over Jackson's 47 carries for 151 yards.


WR-PR TAVON AUSTIN, St. Louis (Round 1, No. 8 overall, West Virginia):
Austin became the first player in NFL history with a 95+ yard punt-return touchdown (98) and two 55+ yard receiving touchdowns (81 and 57) in the same game in Week 10. He joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers (1965) and Randy Moss (1998) as the only rookies to score three 50+ yard touchdowns in the same game. Austin’s average of 78.7 yards per touchdown is the highest in NFL history for a player with at least three touchdowns in a single game.
 
Jeff Fisher says: “He has a chance to change games. We’re going to continue working to get him the football. When he gets his hands on the football, you see what he can do.”

Imig says: The Rams didn't change anything with how they used AUstin in Week 10 at Indianapolis. The difference was executing plays and not screwing it up with penalties. On the receiving end, Austin was able to break away because the Colts ran man-coverage and never adjusted. 

I doubt we'll be seeing Tavon Austin being defended in man coverage any time soon, unless of course opposing defenses know less than the People's Blog.

A WORD FROM THE PEOPLE'S SHOW
In case you missed it, yesterday was a monumental program. Segments 2 & 3 feature Albert Pujols, Ryan Bruan, Marty McFly, Back to the Future, Brendan Shanahan, Jed Lowrie, Tulo, Shelby Miller, NHLPA '94 and a Cris Collinsworth impression. 

Listen
to those and all past segments right here.

You can hear the Collinsworth impression below if you really feel like listening to Cris Collinsworth. I won't be offended if you don't. The impression will evolve so that next time Cris is breaking down the Wizard of Oz.



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