By Danny Cox
Richard Seymour, DT #92
Hometown: Gadsden, SC
Experience: 12 years
The Oakland Raiders are currently sitting at 2-4 in the AFC West, but are only one game behind the division leading Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers. The rest of the AFC isn’t really doing so hot either, which means that the silver and black are right in the thick of things.
Keeping them in the playoff race is primarily their passing game and their defense. Carson Palmer has really come of his own as the quarterback of the Raiders, and it has been needed since the rushing game is awful. The Oakland defense has started stepping up lately and it has a leader of its own in Richard Seymour.
The big defensive tackle’s season hasn’t been the greatest stat-wise, but he is a big reason that the unit stays together. His leadership and experience helps rally the troops and keep the Raiders‘ defense in line.
So far this season, Seymour has 13 total tackles and two sacks through six games. That may not seem like a lot – and it really isn’t – but he has never been on to rack up big numbers during his career. Having his giant frame on the line though, will keep running backs and tight ends from heading that way, which limits their mobility.
Seymour already has almost half as many total tackles as he did during the entire 2011 season (29). He was one of four Oakland Raiders voted to the Pro Bowl after last season, and it was his first season under a new two-year contract worth $30 million.
That happened to be a contract that made him the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. Obviously, the Raiders feel he is incredibly important to their defense as well.
This position of leadership has always been in Seymour, but injuries and other issues kind of kept him from moving up into it until now. Drafted by the New England Patriots in the first round of the 2001 NFL Draft, Seymour’s numbers were more impressive in the earlier part of his career coming out of Georgia, but that doesn’t mean his play has diminished.
At Georgia, Seymour was selected to the All-SEC first team twice and named All-American first-team selection during his senior season. His senior season was by far the pinnacle of his college career as he amassed 78 total tackles and a team-leading 10.5 tackles for loss along with one and a half sacks.
His time in New England really was impressive, but by 2006, he was dealing with a third straight season in which he would suffer due to injury. At times, his professionalism also started going into question, and that especially holds true for when he was fined $7,500 for stepping on Colts’ offensive lineman Tarik Glenn.
Everyone originally thought that once he was traded to the Raiders from New England, that it would be a troublesome move. Seymour reportedly wasn’t happy about the trade and wouldn’t even report to the Raiders because he had been “blindsided” by the Patriots’ move and never expected it.
Once he donned the silver and black though, Seymour’s true talents came back to the forefront and have been showing ever since.
Currently, the big defensive tackle is a force to be reckoned with on the line for the Raiders and his veteran leadership truly keeps things in order for the defense. His skills don’t appear to be diminishing as time goes on in his career, but improving.
Richard Seymour has been around for a very long time, and he likely will be around the NFL for at least a few more. If the Raiders are lucky, Seymour will spend the last years of his career in the Raider Nation.
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Danny Cox knows a little something about the NFL, whether it means letting you know what penalty will come from the flag just thrown on the field or quickly spouting off who the Chicago Bears drafted in the first round of the 1987 draft (Jim Harbaugh). He plans on bringing you the best news, previews, recaps, and anything else that may come along with the exciting world of the National Football League. His work can be found on Examiner.com.