Class of 2022: Richard Seymour - Versatile 3-time Super Bowl winner enters Pro Football Hall of Fame
By Barry Milner
Special to the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Richard Seymour’s dedication to the common cause was never lost on any of his coaches or teammates during a 12-year NFL career in which he won three Super Bowls and made three consecutive All-Pro teams.
As Seymour was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, he paid tribute to that trait and how it was emblematic of the New England Patriots for whom he starred on the defensive line.
“You see, we felt a sense of responsibility to each other — a sense of obligation,” Seymour said. “None of us wanted to be the person to let the team down, to let our brothers down. And that defined us. We never cared who got the accolades as long as we got the W.”
The Patriots got plenty of those in dominating the early 2000s, and Seymour is the second member of those squads to be inducted into the Hall, joining Ty Law. Though he finished his stellar career with four seasons as a Raider, Seymour clearly bleeds Patriots blue.
New England won six division titles over a seven-season span, and the Patriots won 10 or more games seven times during his eight seasons with them. In games in which he had a sack, his team went 46-8. A master at blocking passes (39) and kicks (7), he also had a pair of interceptions – hardly usual for a D-lineman.
"Doing what needs to be done has always been my philosophy," Seymour previously said. “I hate to lose. Winning is everything, and it's the most important thing you can do.”
And when you win, there are people to thank. Seymour paid tribute to his family and the power of doing things as a group, of “living by your values.”
“This day belongs to my family,” he said.
He mentioned several teammates, such as Law, Willie McGinest and Rodney Harrison. He referred to Patriots owner Robert Kraft, seated in the front row, as “The Godfather,” and noted: “You showed us that being consistent with the little things adds up to the big things — always with heart and humanity. You set forth the vision and earned success the right way.”
Not forgetting his stint in Oakland, Seymour also recognized another Pro Football Hall of Famer.
“I grew up a Raiders fan, so spending my last four years in Oakland, learning under the late, great Al Davis, was an unexpected gift,” Seymour added. “Mr. Davis was a coach, a commissioner and Super Bowl champion, but above all else, he was a great leader, because he welcomed and listened to every voice. It didn’t matter if you were a man, woman, Black or white, gay or straight. He believed that football was a game of values.”
He joked about being an intern as a rookie and having to get donuts for the veterans. With more seriousness, Seymour paid homage to the sport while recognizing the mission that everyone involved should carry out.
“For the last 31 years, football – our game – has afforded me possibilities I never could have imagined,” he said. “And with that privilege comes a profound responsibility: the responsibility of stewardship. The responsibility to put others first; to take care of the details; to keep learning; to keep giving. For the long-term strength of our game.
“Let us commit today and every day to be worthy stewards of our game and its values. I accept this honor, the greatest of my life.”
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