Hawk Mail: Getting To Know Kris Richard

When Pete Carroll elevated Kris Richard to Defensive Coordinator, the 35 year-old became the youngest coach in that position in the NFL. Richard can trace his passion for the game back decades and shared some of the memories with us.

When Pete Carroll elevated Kris Richard to defensive coordinator, the 35-year-old became the youngest defensive coordinator in the NFL.  

The title is new, but he's honed his coaching skills for the last seven years as a member of Carroll's staff, first at USC then the Seahawks. 

Richard can trace his passion for the game back decades and shares his some of his earliest football memories along with his competitive nature and football watching advice as part of a series of 10 questions. 

1. At what age did you start playing football?

"I was seven-years old and I played for the Patriots."

2. What positions did you play?

"I played tailback and middle linebacker."

3. When did you score your first touchdown?

"First-ever game. I scored four. We came out and stopped them on 'D,' this is early September of 1987. I go back on punt return and we couldn't rush the punt at that time because we're junior All American football, so we couldn't rush the punt. He took his time, punted the ball, I caught it ran it in for a touchdown."

4. Who taught you to throw a spiral? 

"My parents and my uncle. I spent a lot of time throwing with them in the backyard growing up. We had a really small house growing up in Compton but we had a really nice sized backyard. So we had a lot of time to go out in the back and throw the ball around."

5. What was the best treat/meal after games? 

"Pizza. We'd have a little pizza party where everyone gets together. I remember going over to the Lamppost Pizza in Fullerton after the games."

6. Who was your favorite team growing up?

"I had a couple. When I first started recognizing that football was a big deal my parents were huge Raiders fans growing up, but naturally I couldn't root for who they were rooting for just being a competitor. It was that first year before I came around to play in 1986. That year the Giants were really good and the '87 Super Bowl was the first Super Bowl I can actually remember, so it was the Giants. My favorite player during that time was Joe Morris and that was actually my first number, #20."

7. Was Joe Morris your football idol growing up? 

"No, nothing of that nature. Not everyone that I've looked to or looked up to I wanted to be better than, so there was no way I would idolize them. I wanted to be better than them."

8. Do you own any jerseys other than your own? 

"No I don't. I had a Dodgers baseball jersey but it doesn't have a number on it so it's the good old fashion Dodgers jersey, but haven't been to a game in years."

9. When did you know coaching was in your future? 

"Early on, I can't remember exactly the age, but when I was a kid. It really goes back to the experience I had with my parents and my uncle and all of it. Having a great time playing, the pizza parties, the friends the friendships, it was such a fantastic experience. I knew that I wanted at some point to be able to give that experience in any fashion."

10. You watch the game differently from fans. What's your best advice for those fans on how to watch a game?

"Relax and enjoy it. It's a game of inches and we're all sitting on pins and needles. We have hope but ultimately we need to recognize that we don't control the future. Sit back and enjoy it. Watch these guys go run and hit and have a fantastic time doing what they love to do. Just watch these guys go out there and perform and enjoy every moment."

Richard still watches the game from the field, as opposed to his predecessor Dan Quinn who called the defense from upstairs in the coach's booth. You can spot Richard on game days still working closely with the secondary, the unit his was responsible for the last three seasons.

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