|Baylor offensive guard Cyril Richardson is learning stay lower in his blocks.|
MOBILE, Ala. -- Baylor offensive guard Cyril Richardson came into the practice week at the Reese's Senior Bowl with a few advantages beyond his prolific talent as one of the top guard prospects in the 2014 NFL Draft.
For one, the fast-paced, no-huddle Baylor offense goes a long way toward maintaining good physical condition for offensive linemen. For another, the speed of that offense allows Richardson to think more quickly and clearly in moments of confusion and chaos, which are obviously common in all-star practice settings.
"Once I had the verbiage down, moving quicker was a lot easier," he said. "We make a lot of calls and checks between out here with each other. At Baylor, we made a few. Some of it wasn't necessary because you could see it playing out."
But that doesn't mean everything is coming easy.
Richardson is also practicing in a three-point stance to block for run downs more than he did practicing for Baylor, and he's having to learn to stay lower with his blocks in order to be successful.
"So much of college football now in a lot of programs is the spread offense where you're playing in a two-point stance. In the NFL, it's a little bit different," said North squad coach Mike Smith. "If it's third-and-4 or more, it's pretty much a pass down so most of the time offensive linemen are in two-point stances. But when it's a run down or a down that can be either a run or a pass, our guys in the NFL are going to line up in (three-)point stances. So there are a number of guys who are learning to play from that three-point stance. It is an emphasis point."
"My pad level is getting down lower. It helps out," Richardson said.
A number of Richardson's teammates on the North squad offensive line come from more traditional offenses that huddle and run the ball more, so their adjustments may not be quite as stark as his. Nevertheless, Richardson isn't lacking for confidence.
"I'm dominant. I love being dominant, and I will be dominant in anything I do," he said. "I'm relentless at what I do, and I'm not going to let anything hold me back."
Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.