In honor of the NFL’s 100th season, a panel of 26 experts — including New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick — picked the league’s All-Time Team: a collection of 100 players and coaches that shaped the league over its first century, and that will be announced over the course of a six-week span. 12 running backs and a pair of coaches were already unveiled, with 27 more men joining them earlier this week.
Among the defensive linemen and linebackers to hear their names called also was a former member of the Patriots: Junior Seau. The Pro Football Hall of Famer spent the final four of his 20 seasons in the NFL in New England, and was a part of the organization’s 16-0 team in 2007. After starting his career with the then-San Diego Chargers and also playing in Miami for three years, Seau appeared in a combined 42 games for the Patriots.
“Junior Seau, in a lot of ways, reminds me of Ray [Lewis]. He had that same kind of passion every day, every minute. Football was fun for Junior Seau. It was work, but it was fun,” Belichick said about the 12-time Pro Bowler who he was able to lure of his four-day retirement just before the start of the 2006 season. ”Everybody loved Junior, and Junior loved everybody. But he worked very hard, extremely hard.”
“When he stepped on the field, he was just one of those guys that had an energy and had a vigor for a game that was truly unique and special, and it was contagious. He was a great, great teammate,” continued Belichick. Seau, who passed away in 2012 at just 43, is one of 12 linebackers to make the All-Time Team and the only former Patriot to be included — joining Belichick as the only Patriots to have made the team at this point.