Louis Riddick knows what it takes to be a successful player in the NFL. Riddick spent seven seasons in the league as a safety with San Francisco, Atlanta, Cleveland and Oakland.
Now Riddick, the Redskins' director of pro personnel, is in search of NFL talent that he might be able to bring to Washington. Drawing from his experiences both on and off the field, Riddick is poised to help take the Redskins to the next level.
Following an outstanding college career at the University of Pittsburgh, Riddick entered the league as a ninth-round selection of the 49ers in the 1991 NFL Draft. He finished his playing career with the Raiders in 1998.
"I played for some of the best minds in all of football: Bill Belichick, Nick Saban, Jon Gruden, Jim Haslett," Riddick said. "Those are the guys who taught me basically what I know about football."
Riddick didn't have to go far from home to find his greatest football influences, either. His brother, Robb, was a running back with the Bills in the 1980s. Louis Riddick's cousin, Tim Lewis, is the defensive coordinator for the New York Giants and a former first-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh by the Green Bay Packers. Another cousin, Will Lewis, is the director of pro personnel for the Seattle Seahawks.
Says Louis Riddick: "Tim influenced my career a lot. He was my hero when I was growing up. He was All-State, an All-American and a highly recruited player. I always wanted to be like him and that's why I went to Pitt."
Riddick began his second tour in the NFL in 2001 when he joined the Redskins as a pro scout. It required an adjustment, going from player to scout. But Riddick performed well as a pro scout and was named director of pro personnel in January 2005.
He works closely with Vinny Cerrato, vice president of football operations, and Scott Campbell, director of college scouting.
Said Riddick: "It's a challenge to help build an NFL team. That's why I like it. As a player, you're pretty much evaluating talent all the time from a competitive standpoint. Players know who the best players are. They'll give it to you straight about who's talented, and who isn't.
"I still have that kind of mentality when it comes to analyzing players, even though I'm not on the field competing against them any longer."