Richard Seymour: Monster in the Middle

The New England Patriots have playmakers on both sides of the ball, but these game-changers get little recognition in the national media. The impact these players have on the Patriots performance week-in week-out doesn't go unnoticed by their opponents. One such playmaker who still manages to keep a relatively low profile in the days of cell phone celebrations is Richard Seymour. He may not be the flashy type off the field, but opponents know he's a monster on it.

PHOTO:Richard Seymour #93 of the New England Patriots looks on before the pre season game against the New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on August 18, 2005 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Saints defeated the Patriots 37-27. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Richard Seymour: Monster in the Middle
By Site Staff

Linebacker Tedy Bruschi isn't the only Pro Bowl defender the Patriots are hoping to have back in the lineup when they host the Buffalo Bills in Week 8. Defensive end Richard Seymour, who missed the last two games before the bye week, wants to suit up as well. "I expect to be there," Seymour said. "Definitely."

While Bruschi's comeback from an off-season stroke clearly has been the big story around the team, Seymour's return would be equally welcome news for a club whose defense has crumbled.

Seymour is attempting to recover from a much more routine problem -- a hurt knee. The odd twist is that he injured it while playing goal-line fullback against the Chargers in Week 4. Quizzed about whether his days on offense could be over, Seymour said, "I'm just playing football. Whatever is asked of me, that's what I've always done."

Seymour has done his main job -- terrorize offensive linemen -- so well that he earned three Pro Bowl invitations and two All-Pro nods (to say nothing of three Super Bowl rings) in his first four seasons. Statistically, he was off to the best start of his career (36 tackles, 2 sacks) when running back Corey Dillon fell on him in the end zone at the end of a touchdown run.

The Patriots have split their two games without Seymour. With Jarvis Green filling in for him, the defensive line played well in a victory in Atlanta, but not so well in a loss in Denver. Consistency has been elusive for the Patriots in all phases of the game this season, but Seymour thinks having Bruschi and him on the field again could be a tonic.

"I think if we go out and continue to play the way we played in the past, I think (it will help)," he said. "It always helps to get guys back and to get some playmakers on the field."

Still, Seymour knows reputations alone won't solve the Patriots' defensive woes.

"It doesn't matter who you have in the huddle," he said. "What really matters is what you do on the football field. You could bring (out) Lawrence Taylor, Reggie White and put all those guys on the field, but if they don't contribute or make plays, it really doesn't matter."


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