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2022 Hall of Fame: Richard Seymour ‘unlike any other player’ Bill Belichick coached

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Bill Belichick often says little in the media. Last October, he was asked about Richard Seymour, a player he traded in 2009.

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Belichick spoke 1066 enthusiastic words about Seymour. It all started with a question about what made Seymour a special player.

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“All,” Belichick said.

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Seymour came to New England with the sixth overall pick in the 2001 NFL Draft. The Patriots won the Super Bowl that season, starting their dynasty. Seymour was an important part of the first phase of this dynasty on the way to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Belichick was in the NFL for a long time when the Patriots acquired Seymour, and he has coached many great players. He said that Seymour was “really different from any other player I’ve coached up to this point.”

“I just never had anyone like that,” Belichick said. “He was very smart. He could do many different things: plan the game, play passes, play certain plays in a certain way. All this was very easy for him, because the game was easy for him in terms of intelligence and expectation. and line communication.

It takes a special player to get such praise from the usually stoic Belichick. Seymour was special.

Richard Seymour helped start a dynasty

Other players from the Patriot dynasty attracted more attention, but Seymour helped set the tone.

“We had a connection with teammates, and they were like brothers, and we felt responsible to each other,” Seymour. told “And I think when you have a culture that breeds success and breeds wins, that’s really what it’s all about.”

More than any intangible asset, Seymour was a force on the battlefield. His defensive versatility was key to the Patriots. His size and athleticism were unique. He was 6ft 6in and weighed 317lbs, but nimble enough to handle a 68-yard fumble for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills in 2003.

When Belichick talked about Seymour, he mentioned the quarterback who made a key block after Troy Brown’s 85-yard hit in a 2001 win over the Cleveland Browns. You won’t see many future Hall of Famer linebackers throwing key blocks at the punt return team.

“He was very, very athletic,” Belichick said.

Seymour has made five straight Pro Bowl appearances and been on the All-Pro first team three times with the Patriots. And then his time in New England suddenly came to an end.

And then Seymour was traded to the Oakland Raiders for a first-round pick before the 2009 season. This is one of many times the Patriots have walked away from a key veteran without much warning. Seymour did pretty well with the Raiders, too.

New England Patriots linebacker Richard Seymour was an important part of the Patriots' first three Super Bowl championship teams.  (Photo by Matthew West/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)
New England Patriots linebacker Richard Seymour was an important part of the Patriots’ first three Super Bowl championship teams. (Photo by Matthew West/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Seymour had good years with the Raiders

Seymour played four seasons with the Raiders and won two Pro Bowls before retiring. He finished his career with seven Pro Bowls and 57.5 sacks.

Seymour might hold a grudge about being traded while he was still in his prime, but he said he never had a problem with Belichick.

“It’s just part of how the NFL works,” Seymour said. told USA Today in 2020. “So, it might have seemed like it was some sort of tension or something, but in my opinion, it’s not hard feelings.”

Since Seymour’s influence was due to his constant dominance rather than mind-blowing sacking, it took him several shots to get into the Hall of Fame. Since he was waiting for a call in 2019, he Shaliz Manza Young of Sportzshala Sports said that he is proud of his footballing heritage.

“I think one thing I’ve always said is that I wanted the players I played against to respect me,” Seymour said. “When you hang out or participate in events, a lot of offensive linemen come up to me and tell me that I played the game right, I was one of their toughest opponents or I was the best they played against. .

“When they say that, I feel like I’m already in the Hall of Fame because of it.”

Now he has a gold jacket to make it official.


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