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Patriots

Seymour lays smackdown on Roethlisberger

Posted by Steve Silva, Boston.com Staff  November 22, 2010 08:23 AM

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In case you missed it yesterday (see video above), old friend Richard Seymour was ejected from the Steelers-Raiders game after the defensive end hit Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the face.

Seymour, who won three Super Bowls with the Patriots, turned and struck Roethlisberger as the quarterback ran up behind him while celebrating a 22-yard touchdown pass that put the Steelers ahead 21-3 late in the second quarter.

Seymour, who may also face a heavy fine and/or suspension by the NFL, said the smack on Big Ben was a "natural reaction."

"I apologize to my teammates," Seymour said after the Raiders lost to the Steelers, 35-3. "I never want to do anything to hurt the team. You always want to protect yourself, but there's no excuse. ... I'm not sure why he [Roethlisberger] ran up on me. I just turned around and it was a natural reaction."

Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who has already been fined $100,000 for hard hits this season, wants the NFL to discipline Seymour harshly for the smackdown.

"I would hope he [Seymour] would hear from the league a lot worse than I did," Harrison said. "I'm playing the game within the whistle. What he did was way outside of it. Tell me what the next step is for a guy who blatantly outside of the play, a guy's celebrating with his teammates and you punch him in his face?"

Steelers guard Chris Kemoeatu voiced his displeasure with the hit on his quarterback. "I thought that was cheap," Kemoeatu said. "Real cheap. He's been in the league long enough and I thought it was uncalled for and selfish on his part."

Roethlisberger did not sound particularly upset about the incident after the game. "It is what it is," the Steelers quarterback said after the game. "I wasn't expecting that from him."

Roethlisberger was suspended for the first four games of the season under the NFLís personal conduct policy relating to sexual assault allegations against him earlier in the year.

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