ASHBURN, Va. -- Huey Richardson looked edgy, as if he were getting ready to sit in a dentist's chair.
The linebacker, who was acquired by the Washington Redskins from the Pittsburgh Steelers on Wednesday for a seventh-round pick, was obviously nervous yesterday as he stood in front of his locker and spoke to reporters.
That's something Richardson never did in Pittsburgh, where he earned a reputation for being a loner.
"I was always just very quiet. I would never insult anyone or do anything to offend someone . . . I just basically said I'd rather not give interviews," Richardson said. "Apparently, that was a problem in Pittsburgh. They really wanted me to. I guess I should have taken it more seriously."
He now seems ready to speak, if reluctantly.
"I have to make a decision," he said. "You either have to stick by your principles and stay quiet and not talk to the media and possibly not play any more football or be cooperative and speak to the media and get to do something you really enjoy. It boils down to you making a sacrifice."
Richardson, a first-round selection out of Florida in the 1991 draft, felt the change in coaches from Chuck Noll to Bill Cowher contributed to his trade.
"The key thing to think about is that the coaching staff from
before was the group that drafted me," said Richardson, 6 feet 5 and 233 pounds. "When a new coaching staff comes in, the first thing they want to do is have the players that they feel fit in best with their system, and apparently I was not one of them."
Richardson hopes to get a fresh start in Washington.
"I just want to play football," he said. "If I do my best, I can always say to my parents and friends, 'Hey, I gave it my best shot,' and whatever happens from there, happens."