Richard Seymour has been an elite level defensive lineman for 10 seasons in the NFL, not an easy task for a 6’6″, 310 pound guy who has had to play all positions for the 4-3 and end in a 3-4. Whatever is asked of him, he does. While Seymour clearly has immense talent and athleticism, it takes more than that to succeed in the league at multiple positions and in constantly shifting schemes. Hopefully, JaMarcus Russell took note in the one season Seymour played with him in Oakland. Seymour is also a former University of Georgia star from South Carolina. So he definitely has some strong thoughts on this week’s UGA – SC game and his college experience. And by college experience, I mean something very similar to the reason Georgia wide receiver A.J.
Green has been suspended. A.J. Green, a consensus top 10 NFL Draft pick for 2011, sold a jersey for $1000 to someone who qualifies as an agent. Seymour thinks paying college athletes would help to curb this behavior. While I’m not fully supportive of that beyond the scholarship, room, board and stipend players already get, it is pretty ridiculous that Green is in trouble for this. Last season, a Robbie Hummel, game-worn jersey, was auctioned off by Purdue’s website without Hummel’s knowledge (that or he played dumb when asked about it) for $2,770. It doesn’t matter what the cause, you can’t rub that in college players’ faces and expect them not to want some piece of that. It was his own jersey. Oakland Raider defensive lineman Richard Seymour joined WGFX in Nashvhille with the Three Hour Lunch to talk about his experience with agents at Georgia, A.J. Green’s suspension for selling a jersey to an agent, JaMarcus Russell’s talent and good nature, playing in the 3-4 and 4-3 defense, what Jason Campbell brings to the Raiders team and Jeff Fisher’s mustache.
On if he was ever approached by agents (a la A.J. Green of Georgia) for jerseys:
“I plead the fifth on that… I just think it’s a situation that has to be addressed in college football. I understand that guys are getting a free education. I’m in favor of paying college athletes. It will cut down on a lot of situations of players and agents and money. It has to be formal and maybe put in place. I don’t have all the answers of how to do that, but it has to be addressed.”
On how JaMarcus Russell’s career ended:
“I think it’s very unfortunate. I think obviously if he could change a few things, I think he would. I think it’s definitely been an unfortunate situation as talented a guy as he is. Talent only gets you so far in this league. I think he understands that now and he’s willing to put in the work to turn things around. I know personally, just from being around him, he’s a really good guy… I think he’s always been that talented guy that maybe didn’t have to work as hard in high school or in college because he was always better than everybody. At the quarterback position, being around guys like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning and seeing those guys put in the work, and even Jason Campbell now, it’s a level that the quarter back has to be a coach on the field. He was still developing into that player, into that guy. But, that didn’t happen fast enough for the organization.”
On the difference for a defensive lineman playing the 3-4 versus the 4-3:
“One of the things that I proud myself on because I’ve played in the 3-4. I’ve played in the 4-3. As a defensive lineman, you want to pride yourself as the type of player that can play in any system. Whether it’s the 3-4, the 4-3, you want to say, ‘Hey, I’m a guy that can stay on the field versus the run, versus the pass, short yardage situation, long yardage passing situation.’ You always want to be a guy that the team can depend on to do everything. That’s one of the challenges where have to look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘Hey I can play in any system on any team.’ If there is one defensive lineman that you want, you always want to be that guy… You don’t have the opportunity to make as many big plays in the 3-4 defense. Because in the 43, you penetrate, get up the field, be more disruptive. In the 34 defense, you are still knocking the guys back, but it’s a situation where the linebackers are really making more plays in the defense. You need to be a team guy to do it. I did that eight years in New England. If you look the success that we had, it wasn’t about one guy. It was about the total team success. For me personally, I’ll give up some personal success if it can put some rings on your finger.”
On what Jason Campbell means to this offense and team:
“It’s really been good. Last year, teams were able to just run the clock out – some guys in the second quarter going into halftime. Offensively, I think we have definitely made some strides and I think Jason’s been a leader for us and we are going to need that. I always feel that our best defense is keeping the offense on the field and continue to sustain drives.”
On the upcoming Georgia – South Carolina game:
“Go Dawgs. That’s what I have to say about that one. I tell my buddies all the time, ‘We’re going to beat those chickens up.’ It’s always going to be a big game. When it’s an SEC game, it’s a big matchup and a rivalry, you can through statistics and records out the window.”
On if the Raiders fear Jeff Fisher’s mustache:
“We definitely don’t want to run into the ‘stache.”