Here are a few things we learned about Richards from the call:
Describing his style of play. Asked how he views himself as a player, Richards said, "I think I play fast and physical. That kind of touches all aspects of the game, whether it's [special] teams or whether it's defense. As a person, I think I'm a smart player and I'm easily coachable; I just want to learn and be the best football player I can be. An organization like the Patriots, I'm going to try to go there and be a sponge and soak up as much as I can from my teammates and coaches, and somehow contribute to the success of this organization."
Spent time with Caserio at Stanford pro day. Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio helped run drills at Stanford's pro day, which represented some of the most direct contact the team had with Richards in the pre-draft process. "I got to sit down and talk with him a little bit," Richards said. "At the time, you really don't know [what it means]. You have to be on your Ps and Qs. That's something I don't feel I have to get up for, but it's something where it's who I am in terms of the way I approach the game and the Xs and Os and making sure you take that seriously and know what you're doing. I got to get on the board a little bit and talk some football and definitely enjoyed that experience."
Special teams experience. Richards said he played "a fair amount" on special teams over his career, with the number of snaps varying by year. "It's something I take really seriously. If you want to play football, especially at this level, you better contribute somehow on special teams. I'm juiced and ready for it," he said.
Teammates had unique nickname for him. Richards said one of the things he takes pride in is knowing the entire defense, not just his own assignment. Teammates at Stanford called him "Coach Richards".
Family ties in the area. Richards' dad, Terry, is from Natick, Massachusetts and played football at Tufts University in the 1970s. "He was stoked," Richards said. "Being a California kid, I can't say I was a Patriots fan growing up. But shoot, I can change now."
Excited to play with former teammates. With Stanford alums Tyler Gaffney (running back) and Cameron Fleming (offensive line) on the Patriots' roster, Richards said it's going to be "awesome" to be alongside them again. Richards said he already had exchanged text messages with Gaffney after being drafted.