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Jets know they have to step up while Sheldon Richardson is out

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91)

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) leaves the field after losing to the Miami Dolphins on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at MetLife Stadium. Credit: Lee S. Weissman

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Darrelle Revis took Sheldon Richardson aside before training camp -- a veteran imparting his wisdom to a young player that messed up in a big way.

Revis shared some of his wisdom, he said, and he tried to "warn [Richardson] a little bit and [tried] seeing where his head is and have a simple conversation."

"I think he understands how devastating that is for our team," Revis said at training camp, adding that he wasn't upset. "We all make mistakes in life."

Richardson's mistake -- a second positive drug test for marijuana -- means that the Jets will be without the star defensive tackle for the first four games of the season. The suspension, meted out earlier this month, caused an evenhanded reaction from the Jets, though it's clear that Richardson's teammates will severely miss his contributions.

"It's tough," Revis said, "it's a tough loss for the team."

But, added Quinton Coples, "things happen."

"This is a business and guys are responsible for themselves. I think he learned his lesson," Coples said. "We're going to stand behind him and wish all the best when he's out and when he comes back, we already know what to expect."

Richardson, who is allowed to attend training camp, was "upbeat," David Harris said. And though apparently few other than Revis have discussed the suspension with him, "he knows what's going on and everybody else does as well," Harris said.

The 2013 Defensive Rookie of the Year, Richardson had 42 tackles last year with eight sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He'll return to action after the Jets' Week 5 bye to take on Washington. The Jets can't afford to wait for him until then, Harris said.

"Somebody or a group of people has to step up," he said. "Somebody has to step up when their numbers are called. I think the D-line is going to rise to the challenge. It's out of our hands. He's gone four games. We've got to get past that. No one is going to feel sorry for us. We've got to move on."


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