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Richard Seymour on reaching the Pro Football Hall of Fame: ‘We didn’t play for those things’

Related: Why Richard Seymour was selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 Announcement Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Even before this week, Richard Seymour was able to call himself a lot of things. Super Bowl champion. All-Decade defensive tackle. Professional poker player. Dad. Now, however, he can add another prestigious title to his business cards: Pro Football Hall of Famer.

The 42-year-old was voted into the Hall of Fame this week, with the announcement officially coming during the NFL Honors ceremony on Thursday night. After three straight years of failing to advance past the final round, the long-time New England Patriots defender has therefore finally made the cut.

On Friday morning he took to social media to share his thoughts on becoming a Hall of Famer.

“I humbly and graciously accept this opportunity to stand alongside some of the greatest legends of the game of football,” Seymour wrote on Twitter. “Football has given me the opportunity to live out my dreams and my passion. For that, words will never fully convey my gratitude and appreciation.”

A first-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2001, Seymour burst onto the scene right away. The Georgia product became a starter-level player for one of the better defenses in the game as a rookie, helping New England win its first Super Bowl with a 20-17 upset victory over the then-St. Louis Rams.

Seymour mentioned that game during a press conference after Thursday’s announcement as well. Speaking about the importance of teamwork compared to individual accomplishment, he pointed to the symbolism of New England’s pre-game entrance.

“My rookie season we went to the Super Bowl, won the Super Bowl,” he said. “And it was against the Rams and we came out as a team. I think at the end of the day, trust me, we’re all fortunate and excited to be here in the Hall of Fame and those individual honors. But when you talk about leadership and teamwork, I think that encompasses so much.

“We didn’t play for Pro Bowls, we didn’t play for all of those things. We played for our brother next to us and we wanted them to succeed because if we won we’d get the recognition that we needed.”

Seymour went on to win two more Super Bowls with the Patriots, appearing in a combined 126 games for the organization before being traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2008. Despite a change of scenery he remained one of the better interior defensive linemen in the NFL.

While he did admit that not every one of his plays was on a Hall of Fame level, his consistency over the course of his 12 years in pro football is a key reason why he will receive the highest individual honor in the sport later this year. Seymour himself sees it as recognition of his high level of play throughout his career.

“For me it’s about a body of work,” he said on Thursday. “It’s not about one game or one season because guys can do well and the missing the next, whatever the case may be. So, I think it’s about a body of work throughout the entire course of your career.”

Even though it took Hall of Fame voters four years to push him through, Seymour’s body of work cannot be questioned: he was a cornerstone for the league’s most recent dynasty — one that will take his rightful spot in Canton soon.