"I've been thrilled by (Rich's return)," said Giants coach Tom Coughlin, who doesn't get thrilled by much. Trust us on that one. "Just thrilled and happy for him. Most of the time, when there's a football player in camp with a smile on his face, it's a very unusual thing. We're all rooting for Rich."
Tiki Barber had this to say: "It's awesome to see Richie back. He's such a blue-collar worker. He doesn't mind working for anything he's ever gotten. When he was a rookie, undrafted free agent, he busted his butt to get where he was. Now he's going through the same process again. You like to see his attitude and the little bit of an edge he has."
Here is what Rich Seubert had to say to TGI about his recovery and push for the starting left guard spot.
Q: How good must it feel to be back in action?
A: It feels good. This is what I do. I play football. That's what I want to do. That's what I've been trying to get to the last couple years. I'm finally back. It feels fine. No problems. I just want to be hitting somebody. Getting to hit someone else again in Cleveland was great. I'm just excited to be back out there and to see what happens.
Q: Are you really, honestly not worried at all about the leg?
A: I'm not worried. All I'm worried about is me doing my techniques and getting into the game-speed of things. The way we practice is helping me get back into the swing of things. I'm not worried about my leg that was broken. It feels fine, it looks fine. What's going to happen? I break my leg again. If I break my leg again, so be it. If you're thinking about that, you're going to get hurt. I just have to be out there playing ball.
Q: Are you more susceptible to it happening again?
A: If you tear your ACL or your Achilles' you have a good chance of doing it again. But a bone heals. There's metal in it, a metal rod in there. How's it going to break? Doctors have told me the only legs they've seen break with metal in them came in car accidents. I know we hit hard out there, but they're not car accidents. I'm really not worried about it.
Q: Are you fully back to where you want to be yet?
A: I'm getting there. I don't know if I'm there yet or not. To me? No. Even when I was healthy before, you always want to get better, get faster and improve on stuff. This game is a never-ending process. I'm just trying to get back to my old techniques and the stuff I like to do best. The more I practice, the better I'll become. All offseason working with (strength and conditioning coach) Jerry (Palmieri) and then going to Parisi's school and working there. I got a lot of good work over there. They pushed me hard. They had times on me, filmed me and showed me improving each week. At least I could see that my running times were coming down. Everything I've done helped out and I'm ready to go now.
Q: Stupid question, but I'm going to ask anyway. How important is it to you that you get back into the starting lineup?
A: It's important to everybody. If you're up here practicing now, you want to play on Sunday. You don't want to be up here practicing to be a backup or to not make this team. I'm doing everything I can. I'm going to try to show everything I have these next couple weeks. I'm going to give it all I got. If that's not good enough, so be it. Let the best man win. I want it. Dave (Diehl) wants it. They all want it. As long as everybody has that attitude, this team is going to win games.
Q: You came from nowhere, then were a starter and now you're back fighting for your job again…
A: That's the way it goes. Every year something can happen. I have to fight my way back up and get that spot back. I have stiff competition. But I'm not going to shy away from anything and they're not either. Dave and I are best of friends. I'll help him and he'll help me. Nothing changes like that. It's not like I hate the guy. We all get along, and we're all here for one purpose and that's to win games.
Q: Do you get the sense your teammates are pulling for you?
A: I don't know. It's a story for the media. But it doesn't matter who's rooting or who isn't. The coaches are going to put the best five guys out there. You can't read into it too much. Coughlin likes hard workers, and I like to think of myself as a hard worker. I'm not going to take plays off. I'm going to give it my all. If I'm going to go the wrong way one play, I'm still going to go hard the wrong way. I think the coaches see that. Most of us are like that. If you play offensive line, you have to go hard or you're not going to get it done.
Q: Was there a specific time when you never thought you'd be able to work your way back to this point?
A: I never thought I'd never play again. I always wanted to play again. I always gave it everything I had to play again. I don't want to have any more surgeries, I'll tell you that. I'm sick of that. I'm sick of being in hospitals. If they told me I'd have to have another surgery, I might just tell them to forget about it. Just sitting in a hospital bed for the first month was the most miserable time. You can't move. You can't do anything. Just sit there. Same 12 channels. That time got really bad. My wife came up to see me every day and I felt bad for her. I was miserable, I didn't want to make her miserable. Everybody was supportive and helping out. People don't realize how good an organization the New York Giants is. How they help people out when something like this happens.
Q: How much has the line missed your leadership?
A: I just want to play. If people think I'm a leader, fine. But I just want to play again. It's hard to be a leader when you're not playing. We'll see what happens when I get out there. I'm going to do everything I can to get this thing going in the right direction.
Q: How good can you guys be this year?
A: If you look at our offense, we have guys like (Jeremy) Shockey, Amani (Toomer), Plaxico (Burress), Tim Carter and David Tyree that have speed and can catch the ball. Look at the offensive line. This is the first year we actually have more than five or six guys on the O-line. Right now our second-team offensive line probably has as many games started as the first team. Look at our quarterback, Eli (Manning). Our running backs, with Tiki (Barber) and (Brandon) Jacobs. We have some players. This is probably one of the better teams we've had on paper since I've been here.
Q: Who's going to be the starting left guard on opening day?
A: I hope I am. Dave is going to say he is. I'm going to say I am. (Jason) Whittle wants to start. Wayne (Lucier) wants to start. We all do. May the best guy win. It's a long season, and the guys on the second team aren't going to stop trying until they're playing.
Q: Is there any possibility of you switching positions to get a better chance to play?
A: I want to play left guard.
Seubert charging toward starting lineup
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