Part of the Bay Area News Group

Seymour’s play must equal ability to lead

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, May 28th, 2011 at 12:45 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Richard Seymour was by all accounts the dominant figure during the passing camp he helped organize this week.

He urged his teammates with an e-mail talking about all the hard work it would take for the Raiders to be winners this year. In lieu of a coach, Seymour spoke to the team as the authoritative figure in the absence of Hue Jackson or the coaching staff. His camp, with help from Competitive Edge Sports in the Atlanta area, appeared to match or exceed anything done by any other team during the lockout.

Seymour has been the big man in the Raiders’ locker room since he arrived by trade from the New England Patriots. Coaches respect him, young players look up to him. He has a championship pedigree and an aura to match.

When it comes to presence and professionalism off the field, the Raiders could hardly ask for more.

On the field, however the Raiders will need more than they’ve gotten in the 29 games Seymour has been a Raider.

Given his age (he’ll be 32 in October) and the amount of tread on the tires from 11 seasons as a defensive lineman, the Raiders wisely committed to only two years on Seymour’s contract extension. The fact that he accepted it demonstrates Seymour understands he’s nearing the end of the line.

What the Raiders need is what they got from Rod Woodson _ at least one last glorious season or two before heading off into retirement and then a possible induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The voting for the HOF is always trick but Seymour’s three Super Bowl rings, six Pro Bowls and reputation could serve him well. Finishing by helping lead the Raiders back into the post season would add to his legacy.

The question is whether Seymour is up to it. There have been times when Seymour has given the Raiders their most dominant defensive line play since the prime of Howie Long, a player similar in terms of strength and versatility.

But there have also been stretches where Seymour has blended in with a defense that has had way too many games of mediocrity or worse.

The season-opener in 2009 against San Diego was Seymour at his best, blowing up offensive linemen and blocking schemes, registering two sacks and being a factor on almost every play. Later in the season, it was the same thing in a win over Philadelphia. He had two sacks against Donovan McNabb that day _ and those four sacks represented his entire season total.

Sacks are only a part of his game, but the Raiders were weak against the run all season despite the ripple effect Seymour’s presence should bring.

Last season, moved inside to the three technique, Seymour had the best stretch of play by a defensive lineman since the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995, particularly during a three-game win streak that put Oakland at 5-4 going into its bye week. At the time I wrote Seymour was a legitimate defensive player of the year candidate.

And then . . .

As much as I enjoyed Seymour’s decking of Ben Roethlisberger from the perspective of a father of a teenaged daughter, it happened at a time when the Raiders were getting pushed around in a 35-3 loss to the Steelers. In his last five games, Seymour never had more than three tackles in a game and exactly one sack. He missed the last two games with a hamstring injury.

When players voted for the winner of the Eric Turner award as the defensive MVP, the winner wasn’t Seymour, but fellow defensive tackle Tommy Kelly.

Much of Kelly’s success can probably be attributed to the man he calls “Big Rich.” Seymour helped prod Kelly into getting in better shape and by example demonstrated what it was like to be a pro. It would be hard to overstate his effect on young linemen such as Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston.

But make no mistake, the Raiders didn’t extend Seymour two years and $28.5 million in guaranteed money to be a coach on the field. They need those last two years to be Seymour at his dominant best as often as possible as they attempt to eliminate the periods of defensive inconsistency which have plagued them since 2003.

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  • guest123

    Notice how when both Murphy and Miller were out with injuries, we started that midseason swoon. If those guys are healthy, who knows if that would have made the difference?

    The passing stats were indeed the “stinky poo poo” LOL

    But it’s not like it couldn’t have been incrementally better. Enough to make the playoffs? Sure, you betcha!

    Is JCamp anything more than a stopgap QB till we get a real franchise QB? Nope…

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    I can’t read.

  • priesttj

    Striking Jerry’s blog wont have an affect on the league Doc, I wish it would I’d do it oin a heartbeat. They feel no financial woes if this blog is shut down completely.

    It’s NFLN and NFL subsidized sites and the like that hurts them. Don’t watch NFLN or go to NFL.com that will get their attention.

  • guest123

    To the extent that we all recognize the effectiveness of JCamp as the running game goes, we need to “build-a-bully” in Hue Jacks verbiage. We need to invest in the O-line. We already have a bully on the D-line. If we can get BCamp bruising down low inside of Veldheer and bring in some quality high $ OL vets, we don’t need to bring in any of those vet WR’s.

  • guest123

    Striking a blog does what exactly? The NFL doesn’t know or care what we think. They have their blinders on. We don’t as a blog even carry a blip on the Nielsen ratings scale of NFL fans.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    They are checking the metrics.

    Every time you refresh the page it is reflected in the metrics.

  • priesttj

    Last years passing game helped the running game when you see screens and even checkdowns gain yardage that augments the run game. If Cable had not played so many games with the QB’s that passing game would’ve been better. You guys base everything on stats you don’t have the ability to understand the game without stats. Had JC started all year that passsing game would’ve been a lot better. While stats wise it seemed minuscule it helped us score 25 points a game. There aren’t many teams that can say that. Sure we need to double the output stats wise but I’ll take 25 a game any year.

  • guest123

    I am and have been a loyal fan of the Raiders for as long as I remember (4 complete decades). But if they cancel the season, I am going to put this blog and NFL out of sight and out of mind. And it will be hard to get any energy up for it again. May take a year or two.

  • guest123

    priesttj Says:
    May 31st, 2011 at 12:55 pm
    Last years passing game helped the running game when you see screens and even checkdowns gain yardage that augments the run game. If Cable had not played so many games with the QB’s that passing game would’ve been better. You guys base everything on stats you don’t have the ability to understand the game without stats. Had JC started all year that passsing game would’ve been a lot better. While stats wise it seemed minuscule it helped us score 25 points a game. There aren’t many teams that can say that. Sure we need to double the output stats wise but I’ll take 25 a game any year.

    ***********

    Of course you remember the 49er game, right? That was just one of a few clunkers that JC had. But that was him. He was terrible. He had his opportunities to make plays and he didn’t.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Do you think you guys COULD abstain from Jerry’s blog for the duration of the lockout?

    I think some are addicted.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Take the summer off.

    The Billionaires and millionaires are in no rush to get back.

  • priesttj

    Doc that may welll be the case about the metrics i don’t know. But it can only gage interest that is all. They don’t get a dime from this even if they do advertise. If you’re going to affect what they do don’t watch NFLN or go to NFL.com. And definitely don’t buy NFLrewind games or gear of any team. That goes directly to their bank.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    JCamp has the slowest release in the NFL, and a real fear of going downfield. That’s why the coaches wanted Grads to pump up the passing game last year – executing a game plan predicated on the accurate timing of 15+ yard throws. If Hackett couldn’t solve it, Campbell will NEVER do that well.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    The Raiders cannot afford to squander their first momentum in a decade.

  • priesttj

    if your are serious about hurting them hurt them in the pocket. They know we are interested………it goes without saying.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Everyone has one vote.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    It is about sending a message.

  • priesttj

    Bo you don’t know that, Carson Palmer didn’t do a thing under Hackett. When he got fired Palmer won the Heisman.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    They are paying attention.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    priesttj Says:
    May 31st, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    if your are serious about hurting them hurt them in the pocket.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    If Danny Southwick calls me again pitching season seats, well… I’m sorry. I’m payin.

    But if Herrera or Taylor call, they’re getting my Jon Condo speech and nothing more.

  • Silverandblack666

    “if your are serious about hurting them hurt them in the pocket”

    Its the only thing they understand, profit and loss.

    Your absolutely correct in that if we stop watching NFLN and stop buying paraphernalia or season tickets it is the only way to get our voice heard.

    This blog will go on as we all need to take a break from our work to vent and talk football from time to time.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    The longer this goes on the worse it is for young teams with new coaches.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    priesttj Says:
    May 31st, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Bo you don’t know that, Carson Palmer didn’t do a thing under Hackett. When he got fired Palmer won the Heisman.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    So you’re saying Carson’s success was totally unrelated to the coaching he got before that year? WhatEVER.

    Tell me why the actual coaches (whom you always point out are the experts in the field) yanked JCamp last year.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    STRIKE JUNE 1st!

    For the severely addicted just take the morning off.

    Go Raiders!

  • priesttj

    I’m saying I talked many times with an NFL exec about Palmers struggles under Hackett and he swears by Hackett. Palmer learned a ton of technigue from Hackett he was under him fro 2 or 3 years I’m talking about his PLAYCALLING!!.

    Campbell’s been here one year and I think Hujack will do wonders for Camp. JMHO!! especially with Saunders aboard.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    So Terrell Pryor might be going in the supplemental draft. I say go Al go.

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Okay. You guys convinced me. Screw June 1st.

    Lets do something else as a protest.

    Lets make it NEXT POST.

    Just for fun let’s see who can go the longest without posting after the next post.

    I know some of you can’t go one day.

  • 8RaiderReign8

    Bo could you root for Pryor?

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    new post go!

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