Vikings DT Sheldon Richardson won’t ease up on Aaron Rodgers
The NFL has received scathing criticism for its new criteria on roughing the passer calls. However, that is not going to stop Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson from playing aggressively against Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Week 2.
There were countless instances of questionable calls in the 2018 NFL season opener. Regardless, Richardson is going to play like he always does, according to Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press:
“I play football. I’m not going to be dirty. I’m going to play football. It’s aggressive and it is what it is. If you’re scared, go to church.”
Minnesota signed Richardson to a one-year deal in the offseason. It has already started to pay dividends for their formidable unit as the big man has established himself as the anchor of this defense. He registered four tackles and .5 sacks while the hounding pressure up front helped force San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo throw three interceptions in the 2018 NFL season opener.
However, he will still need to be careful when hounding Rodgers this week. The referees have made it clear that they have set strict criteria for what passes as a “clean tackle” in today’s NFL. Not only must defenders avoid going too high or too low when they hit quarterbacks, but they also have to be sure not to roll on top of them once they are making the tackle. The rule was inspired by the hit Rodgers took from linebacker Anthony Barr last season which caused him to miss a good chunk of the 2017 campaign.