Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour was an on-site guest of The NFL Today show on CBS yesterday. For those who missed it, here were a few highlights of Seymour’s appearance with James Brown, Shannon Sharpe, Boomer Esiason, Dan Marino and Bill Cowher (click on "fully entry for complete text):
When Seymour faced off with Sharpe on who the best team in the AFC East is at this time, Sharpe said it was the Bills. Seymour responded this way:
“It still remains to be seen for us at this point; it’s still early in the football season. Everybody is talking about who is going to the playoffs, who is the best quarterback in the league, but it’s still early. How do we know all these things? It’s Week 4.”
The set then erupted in laughter, teasing Seymour that he sounded like Cowher.
As the discussion resumed, Cowher looked at Seymour and said: “That’s what TV does. They make us say some of these things.”
Cowher then asked Seymour about the Patriots’ last game, a 38-13 loss to the Dolphins. Cowher asked Seymour to take him back to what happened on the field and on the sidelines during that game.
“Usually what happens on an unbalanced formation, the offensive tackle usually goes over and plays the tight end position, and the tight end [goes to the other side]. So there are two [tackles] on one side and it’s kind of overloaded on one side. A lot of times, it’s usually still the quarterback in the backfield. But they switched it around and had the running back in the backfield and they had a lot of different plays off it. We made some adjustments at halftime, it just didn’t work for us.”
Cowher asked if the Patriots stayed in the same defense. He noted that in Pittsburgh, the Steelers would check into a specific defense if they faced something unique like that.
“We have many different checks on our defensive front,” Seymour responded. “You have to give our coaching staff a lot of credit. I think they’re one of the best coaching staffs in the league as far as making adjustments -- during the game, making adjustments, and also halftime. We made some adjustments, but like I said, they had the running back in the backfield and did some different things. They threw the pass off that unbalanced formation. It just gave us problems, but we’ve corrected those and it’s time to play some football.”
Seymour was then asked how the team is dealing with the season-ending injury to Tom Brady, and if he believes Matt Cassel is a quarterback who can get the Patriots into the playoffs.
“I’m sure you guys love to talk about quarterbacks,” Seymour cracked, looking in the direction of Marino and Esiason. “You have two quarterbacks on the set, another tight end/receiver on the set. So I’m bringing a fresh, new defensive perspective.
“No, absolutely. Obviously, Tom, an MVP of the league, he does so much for this league, Super Bowl MVP type guy. Any time a football team loses a guy like that, it’s always tough to transition. But you must move on. I said it back when Tom went down – there is more than one way to skin a cat. You always have to find a different way to win. We have a lot of veteran leaders on this football team, a lot of different guys that can step up and kind of take on their responsibility.
“Defensively, I think that’s what has been … since ’01, when we’ve been winning Super Bowls in New England, defense has been getting it done. I know you guys love to talk about Randy Moss, quarterbacks, and rightfully so. Those guys deserve a lot of credit for the things that they’ve done. But defensively, that’s where we have to do our job.”
Sharpe then asked Seymour about losing a regular-season home game for the first time in more than a year. Sharpe mentioned cornerback Ellis Hobbs’ remarks about the home fans booing the team, and asked how Seymour felt when he heard the booing.
“I was surprised by it, just because of the things that we’ve done in the past,” he said. “I’ll say this, they pay their money. So if you want to come to the game and do whatever they want to do, they can do that. I’d just say, look at the total body of work that we’ve accomplished over the course [of time].”
Esiason then asked Seymour if he feels the team’s defense can carry the team.
“A lot of this still remains to be seen, but I’m sure we have guys in that huddle – like you said, Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, Vince Wilfork the monster in the middle, Ty Warren – so we have a core group of guys that I know we can get the job done.”
Brown asked Seymour if he feels that teams like the Bills and Titans, now 4-0, are taking over the top spot in the AFC from the Patriots and Colts.
“I always come from [this perspective],” Seymour said. “If you look at a horse race, and all the horses are in the pack, who is going to win? You don’t know. You still have to let things play out. It’s Week 4. It’s still early. I’ll come back at the end of the year and add more insight.”
Seymour was then asked -- as he takes the pulse of the Patriots -- if he has any concerns.
"I think as a football team, we always look for things to pull on," Seymour responded. "I think any great team, any great player, always takes 'you can't do something' and rallies around that and move forward as a football team. Like I said, we have the best coaching staff in the National Football League. They always have us prepared. We have some great playmakers on our football team that can get the job done."
Seymour was then told he could take a parting shot at those on the set if he so desired.
"I'm glad I have Coach [Cowher] here," Seymour joked, noting that Cowher was separating him from Esiason, Marino and Sharpe. "I might have to get down at that end."