Seymour downplays Sunday's game
September, 28, 2011
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- You can take Richard Seymour out of New England, but you can't take New England out of Richard Seymour.
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesRichard Seymour said Sunday's clash with the Patriots is just another game.
During a conference call with the local media on Wednesday afternoon, Seymour was asked if he put an asterisk next to a Week 4 meeting with his former team, the first time their paths have crossed since he was dealt away before the start of the 2009 season. As if still adhering to the Patriot Way, Seymour downplayed Sunday's meeting between his Raiders and the Patriots.
"I feel that way about all of [the games]," he said. "This one is no different."
It's hard to imagine that after eight seasons and three Super Bowl titles with New England this one could mean just as much as, say, Oakland's Week 5 visit to a Houston Texans squad that wasn't even in the league when the Patriots drafted Seymour with the sixth overall pick in the 2001 draft. But that's the way Seymour pegged it.
"Well, I think it’s a big game for us and we gotta bring out our A-game in order to beat them," said Seymour, swapped for a 2011 first-round draft pick (Nate Solder). "This is a team we respect, they have a lot of good players, so we’ll put our best foot forward."
During a 12-minute conference call that featured a couple of interruptions from planes flying over the Raiders' practice facility, Seymour talked being a leader in Oakland, lobbed praise on the likes of Patriots offensive linemen Matt Light and Logan Mankins, and explained his "X" celebration ("It means X-rated; When I put the X up, put the kids to sleep, because little kids can't watch that," he said.)
More importantly, he explained why he returned to the area last month to pay his respects to Myra Kraft.
"For me, Myra was a great lady," explained Seymour. "The Kraft family was great to me and my family and I have a lot of respect for her and I just wanted to pay my respects. It’s not anything about football, it’s about life -- how valuable and precious life is. I know how much Mr. [Robert] Kraft cared for his wife and loved her, he was always an example for me and my wife, in how he treated her and how she treated him. For me, it’s about the type of person you are at the end of the day, so i wanted to pay my respects."
As for keeping tabs on Solder, given how they'll forever be linked by that 2009 trade, Seymour shrugged it off.
"For me, it was a business decision, they could have gone any route that they wanted to in terms of the draft," he said. "I don’t really get caught up in who they got, what pick was it -- I can’t control any of that. The only thing I control is how good I go out and play, and continue to do that. Like I said, that’s really it from my standpoint, I don’t really look at it any other way."
One bit of a potential eyebrow raiser: Asked if he looked forward to catching up with former coach Bill Belichick, Seymour closed the call by saying, "All my teammates out there, I don’t have a problem with any of them."