Of all the players currently on the Patriot’s roster, perhaps only Richard Seymour can claim to have the same insight into the team’s ability to produce one high-quality season after another as its superstar quarterback Tom Brady as, like Brady, the franchise defensive end has long served as a personal study in excellence since winning a Super Bowl at the end of his rookie year in 2001.
However, while Seymour has always been known for giving maximum effort, in recent years he’s had to fight to maintain his ability to perform a top levels while fighting off injuries including a major surgery to his left knee after the 2006 season that critics have cited as permanently affecting his speed and mobility.
Heading into the 2009 season, Seymour and his longtime offensive counterpart Brady both seek to prove they can rebound to their former greatness and remain healthy enough to make a run at yet another Lombardi Trophy. What follows are questions that could be posed to big No. 93 upon gaining the chance to interview him one-on-one.
Richard, thanks for sitting down with us today, how do you feel physically heading into this, your ninth NFL season?
2008 was a far better year for you injury-wise after dealing with elbow problems in 2006 and knee issues in 2007. What was the key to staying on the field, and how has the back injury that kept you out of the final game of the season healed up?
Having been through major knee surgery and rehab yourself, what is your advice to Tom Brady in coming back this year?
Were you able to speak to Tom in the off season and offer him any help in coming back?
What do you feel is the most important aspect of successfully recovering from any major injury?
How does it feel for the team to have him back at practice after losing him for so long last year?
Do the defensive players feel a responsibility to help protect Brady by raising their own level of play?
What is the bond like between the two of you now where you are in your careers and having been through so much together?
A lot of people have criticized Brady for being so visible outside of football—having been through some media storms yourself, what’s your take on handling those kinds of pressures, especially as it relates to having your family matters in the media spotlight?
On the defensive side what do you see as the biggest keys to success in 2009?
How does the unit replace departed leaders including Rodney Harrison and Mike Vrabel?
What do you say to critics who say that guys like yourself and Tedy Bruschi have lost a step and can’t play as effectively as you used to?
There’s also a lot of youth on the defense right now, how do you instill the “Patriots Way” in the younger guys?
People recognize that the front line of the defense will be its’ strength, how can you offset inexperience in the defensive backfield?
What is the single most important goal that the Patriots defense must achieve in 2009 in order to win another title?
How confident are you that that can be done?
Thanks Big Sey.