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Jets Q&A: How did Sheldon Richardson feel after his first game of the season?

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91)

New York Jets defensive end Sheldon Richardson (91) looks on from the field against the Washington Redskins in the first half of a game at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

What was Sheldon Richardson's assessment of his first game?

The Jets defensive tackle was quite pleased with himself. "I played pretty good. I did my job. Made plays here and there," Richardson said after Sunday's 34-20 win over Washington.

Coach Todd Bowles kept his game plan for Richardson under wraps last week, but he pointed out that he didn't want to overwork the third-year lineman in his first game back after serving a four-game suspension for violating the league's drug policy. Richardson started the game, teamed with Muhammad Wilkerson for a sack of Kirk Cousins and made three tackles in 47 snaps. He said he didn't know he would start until the coaches called "my defensive package" as part of the Jets' 4-3 defensive front.

At one point during the game, he lined up several yards off the line of scrimmage and blitzed. Asked if he prefers to mimic a linebacker, he smiled and said: "Every defensive lineman likes standing up on two feet. That's just a universal thing."

Richardson noted that he "wasn't constantly making plays sideline-to-sideline like I usually do" but added: "The defense got a whole lot better, so it's going to be a lot harder for me to do that."

He wasn't "dog-dead tired," but there was "a little bit" of rust, he said.

Bowles seemed pleased with his play. "He gave us some energy while he was in there," he said. "He still has to get in football shape. There were a couple of times where I left him in there a play too long, but overall he did fine."

Any injury news we should know about?

Bad news for the secondary: Buster Skrine has a concussion. The physical slot corner walked to the locker room under his own power with 16 seconds left in the first half and did not return. He was replaced by second-year cornerback Dexter McDougle.

Running back Bilal Powell suffered a sprained ankle after being questionable for the game because of a groin injury. It's unclear if he'll miss time.

How did the Jets react to Ryan Fitzpatrick's footwork?

When Fitzpatrick takes off, Bowles can't help but hold his breath. "Every time he crosses the line of scrimmage, I get worried," he said, smiling.

Fitzpatrick may not be the quickest quarterback, but he again showed that he can beat defenses with more than just his arm. He ran for 31 yards on four carries, including an 18-yard touchdown that gave the Jets a 20-13 lead.

"It made me so happy for Fitz," right guard Willie Colon said of the TD. "It showed the type of [guts] he has. He's not afraid to just let it rip."

Said Bowles: "He's a tough competitor and he has a feel for it. Hopefully, he can learn to slide. We'll send him to baseball school in the offseason."

Fitzpatrick gave all the credit to running back Chris Ivory, who read the defense and picked up the nickel blitz. "Usually, if I get to about five yards, somebody starts catching me, but I was able to take it to the end zone . . . Probably not a whole lot of people noticed what Chris did on that play, but it was phenomenal."

What did Brandon Marshall think of his big afternoon?

With seven receptions for 111 yards, Marshall joined Don Maynard (1968) and George Sauer (1966) as the only Jets with four consecutive 100-yard receiving games. Asked about it, Marshall said: "People just make up any kind of record. You know, it's like, hey, he had 100 yards on turf on Sunday before the sun went down. Anybody can make up any kind of stats. I'm just trying to do my best and improve my work."


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