Richard Seymour has a list of accolades longer than his arm, which isn’t small in itself. The defensive lineman won three Super Bowls. Yes he was lucky to be drafted by the Patriots the year they won their first Super Bowl. But he was also a key player in winning three Lombardis in four seasons. Seymour’s personal accolades prove that: seven Pro Bowls, five All Pros, three as a first teamer in 2003-5 and twice on the second team.
Seymour made the NFL All Decade team for the 2000s. Not only that, he was in the Patriots’ 50th Anniversary team and New England’s Hall of Fame.
The accolades are impressive but lets take a look at the stats that back it all up. 164 starts, 111 of which at Foxborough, 498 tackles, 91 tackles for loss, 57.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and eight recoveries. Seymour even had a pair of interceptions! Seymour occupied blockers, allowing the likes of Willie McGinest to tee off on the QB.
While Seymour stuffed running games, he also had an impact on the passing game. The Defensive End turned Tackle hit QBs 79 times on top of his 57.5 sacks. In his latter years in Oakland, Seymour moved inside, partly through scheme but his age meant that his elite athleticism didn’t quite have the edge. He was productive at Tackle though, earning 14.5 sacks and 92 tackles in 37 games over his final three seasons.
Richard Seymour was a vital, if underrated part of the Patriots first dynasty of this century. While success didn’t follow him to Oakland, he was a playmaker on a bad team, standing out above the rest. Now is the time to recognise his play on the field with a gold jacket and a bust in Canton.
We are running a series on HOF nominees. Find more here.
Image: Pats Pulpit