The much anticipated NFL Draft began yesterday evening (Thursday, April 25th) and as hundreds of players await the news that will forever change their lives, Harold Richardson, executive director of the East-West Shrine Game®, reflected on his time with the NFL.
Harold Richardson, former NFL general manager and coach, is the executive director of the East-West Shrine Game, a thrilling college all-star football game benefiting Shriners Hospitals for Children®. An alumnus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Richardson’s extensive 22-year background in professional football includes serving as general manager of the Atlanta Falcons (1998-2002) and coach for both the New Orleans Saints and Denver Broncos. In 1998, under Richardson’s leadership, the Atlanta Falcons made their first appearance in the Super bowl during game XXXIII. Prior to leading professional football teams, Richardson coached at the collegiate level for 12 years.
As the 2013 NFL Draft kicked off last night, the East-West Shrine Game wished their many alumni the best of luck and awaited the decisions with the rest of the nation. “The East-West Shrine Game has always fielded players among college football’s best,” said Richardson. “With all 32 NFL teams represented by GMs, coaches and scouts during the week of the game, our players have the terrific opportunity to showcase their talents and get their first glimpse of the NFL.” While Richardson noted that the NFL Draft is anything but an exact science, he is confident in East-West Shrine Game players’ exposure to the appropriate decision makers; providing a huge advantage to those seeking professional football careers. Richardson noted that, “During any given season there are between 250 to 280 East-West Shrine Game alumni on NFL rosters, thus making our game a terrific launching pad to the NFL.”
When asked about player selection strategies, Richardson reminisced on the days quarantined with fellow team leadership during the draft. “Every team has different approaches to player selection strategies,” said Richardson. “It is important to have a comprehensive strategy that allows you to choose the best players as well as selecting those that meet your roster needs.”
Richardson, along with other members of the East-West Shrine Game staff, extend their best wishes to all the eligible athletes and look forward to watching East-West alumni embark on their professional football careers.