Sheldon Richardson was never shy about making his disgust for Brandon Marshall public when the two were teammates. Now that Marshall is no longer a Jet, he’s still taking shots at the mercurial wide receiver.
Richardson, who once told Marshall “he should be embarrassed” after New York suffered a 41-3 loss at the hands of the Patriots, ripped the wideout again Tuesday. When asked what has changed in the locker room between this season and last, the big defensive lineman made a not-so-veiled jab at his former teammate.
"I enjoy being here," Richardson said, via Connor Hughes of NJ.com. "Locker room is a whole lot easier to get along with now."
When reporters prodded him on why, the lineman took the bait.
"Let's just say there are 15 reasons why it's better.”
Marshall has worn No. 15 with three of his four franchises he’s played with, including the Jets.
Richardson may not have much room to throw shade at others when it comes to setting an example in the locker room. He’s been twice suspended by the NFL, once for a positive drug test and another time stemming from a 2014 arrest in Missouri where he evaded police at speeds exceeding 140 miles per hour.
He was also caught on SnapChat asking “where the hoes at?” before saying “f--- this game” prior to New York’s 34-13 Week 15 loss to the Dolphins — an outburst that took place one week before Richardson took Marshall to task for his performance against New England.
Marshall has taken the high road in the feud.
He also spoke respectfully about his former teammate back in January.
“From that moment, all I saw was this guy is committed to being a better person and a better teammate,” Marshall told reporters about Richardson’s behavior after serving his latest suspension. “He has been getting better every single day. Has it been perfect? No. But he's light years from where he was last year. I commend him for that."
Richardson wasn’t the only one to comment on the Jets’ leadership and locker room Tuesday. Former quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick discussed his displeasure with the way the team handled its passers last fall.
#Bucs backup QB Ryan Fitzpatrick on losing his job with Jets: "it's a game of musical chairs and they pulled the chair out from under me."— Roy Cummings (@RCummingsFRS) May 23, 2017
Fitzpatrick was replaced behind center by Geno Smith and then Bryce Petty during an ugly season that saw him throw six interceptions in a single game. The journeyman QB went 3-8 as a starter, completed less than 57 percent of his passes, and threw only 12 touchdowns compared to 17 interceptions in his 12th season as a pro.
The Jets have plenty of improving to do after a disappointing 5-11 season. Their rebuild has started with a focus on defensive improvements. One way to spark a turnaround would be getting Richardson back to his Pro Bowl form. If he can’t, he won’t have Marshall to take his frustrations out on anymore.