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Richard Seymour: Oakland Defensive Lineman's Impact on Raider Nation

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IJuly 28, 2011

Richard Seymour: Oakland Defensive Lineman's Impact on Raider Nation

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    Why did Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis spend so much money to keep Richard Seymour?

    That's easy.

    He is the one player that has had the most impact in turning this Raider team around. The defensive tackle doesn't have the sexy sack stats to show for his impact, but it is there.

    Turn the page to see what it has been so far.

Immediate Impact

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    Seymour's impact on the Raiders began right away when he was traded from the New England Patriots in 2009. Seymour delayed his arrival to Raider Nation, but he literally got off the plane and got two sacks in his first game.

    The result of the game was a tightly contested, heartbreaking loss to the Chargers , 24-20. This was still immediate impact because the Raiders seemed to close the gap between themselves and the Chargers.

    They were regularly blown out by the Chargers before that but would sweep them in 2010.

Attention

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    The first thing people around the league think about when a great veteran player is traded is what he has left. In that Week 1 game against the Chargers, Seymour showed that he had a whole lot left. 

    The league, including the AFC West, has since taken notice and proceeded to game-plan for Seymour. Double- and triple-teams were the result there, giving his fellow defensive linemen a chance to make plays.

    The Raiders tied for second in the NFL in sacks in 2010. 

Leader

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    Seymour went to training camp early in 2010 to pass his knowledge on to talented rookie Lamarr Houston. He knew how well Houston and the rest of the defensive line would do if he were brought up to speed quickly.

    Matt Shaughnessy and Tommy Kelly are also very talented players that benefited from Seymour's presence. Beyond taking double-teams, Seymour picked up the performance of his defensive line mates by teaching and inspiring them.

    As Seymour continues to lead these young men, his impact will be felt beyond his playing days.

The Message

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    During a Raiders blowout loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Richard Seymour sent a loud and clear message. The message may not have been delivered in the right way, but it was a message that needed to be delivered.

    The method of the delivery was a paw to the face mask of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. One side of the message was to the league, saying, "We will not take other teams taunting or dogging us in any way!"

    The other side of the message said to his teammates, "Stay in the fight, guys! We were not put here to accept losing, especially not like this!"

Value

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    Is he worth a first-round pick?

    Of course he is!

    If you look at what the Raiders have drafted in the first round the last eight years, he's worth about three or four. All busts aside, he is worth three or four because the Raiders haven't had enough veteran leadership in the last eight years.

    Seymour's impact on this team will last beyond his playing days.

    How's this for return on investment?

    Instead of buying a Bentley like Albert Haynesworth, Seymour used some of the money from his big contract to host a minicamp for the players during the lockout.

Overview

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    I have to give credit where it is due.

    Richard Seymour is the one player most responsible for the Raiders' jump from 5-11 in '09 to 8-8 last year. That is the type of impact that you can only wish for from a first-round draft pick.

    It's more than just his play, but also the way he has made the players around him better.

    That's what you need in a team sport.

    At 6'6", 310 pounds. Seymour is worth his weight in platinum.

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