Sheldon Richardson has a message for those fans planning to protest the team in the final home game of the season: You're not real fans.
It certainly has been anything but a banner year for the 3-11 Jets, who are pointed towards a fourth straight season without the playoffs and are hearing disgust from some of their most loyal fans. There are protests planned for this Sunday's game against the Patriots, demanding the firing of general manager John Idzik and this past week, a plane flew over the practice facility with a similar message.
The plane flight was the second time in recent weeks that a plane has flown over practice, demanding the resignation of Idzik.
Richardson, despite having played just 30 games in the league, has emerged as a leader on this team and most definitely as one of the voices of the locker room. He told Metro on Thursday that he didn't like what he was seeing going on around the team, in particular from its fans.
“I did not see the plane flying over but I heard about it. I don't have anything to say. It's Jets fans with too much money, they got nothing else better to do I guess,” Richardson told Metro.
“I don't call them fans, won't call them fans. I don't have anything to say about them.”
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Richardson said he doesn't think about the things going on around the team or the current state of the Jets.
Morale among Jets fans is at an all-time low. After progress made last year en route to a surprising 8-8 record, the team is clearly regressing and Idzik is shouldering the majority of the blame. His drafts, outside of Richardson, have been lackluster and he failed to add the requisite quality of free agents to take the team back to the playoffs.
Don't blame Richardson, however, as his play continues to be strong. He is currently on pace to more than double his sack total from his rookie season, even as he continues to draw more double teams.
And while Richardson didn't see the plane flying overhead on Wednesday during practice, he has seen the crowds at MetLife Stadium turn more hostile towards the Jets and resemble anything but a homefield advantage.
“You can only control what you can control, the environment around us is out of control right now,” Richardson said. “Can't worry too much about it.”