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Did T-Rich have breakthrough moment under Del Rio?

In signing Trent Richardson, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio is also attempting to get to the core of the former first-round pick's struggles.

That became apparent on Tuesday when the team's new addition relayed a talk he had with his new head coach.

"A lot of football players don't realize stuff until it's gone," Richardson said during a conference call with local reporters, via "I've been playing football my whole life. ... Coach asked me this yesterday. 'Trent, how long have you been playing football? I said, 'Coach I've been playing since six years old.' He said, 'So what would you do without football? At your age, what would you do without football?'

"It kind of hit to where, 'Yeah, you're right, coach.' That's something you don't expect, that you don't hear from everybody."

The conversation between Del Rio and Richardson was initially supposed to be about Chris Borland, who retired this week at the age of 24. Richardson is the same age, and Del Rio wanted to know how Richardson would fare without the game he loves.

But the direction the talk took was interesting in how Richardson internalized it. On his shoulders, there has to be enough self-doubt to cripple a young prospect. Richardson could easily walk away from the game and not have to deal with all the stress that comes with being an under-productive top-five pick.

It sounds like something might have hit home for Richardson, though.

This is his third and perhaps final stop in the NFL. While teams will always be willing to take a flier on someone with unbelievable talent, the numbers will eventually stack up against him.

Could his realization under Del Rio, though, be the breakthrough everyone was waiting for?

The latest Around The NFL Podcast is joined by Lindsay Rhodes and analyzes every free-agent move. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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