They were in New England together
This is is a big week for the Raiders’ organization and for new coach Josh McDaniels.
The team will kick off the celebration of the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend by playing in the Hall of Fame game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Canton, Ohio on Thursday.
On Saturday, Raiders’ legendary wide receiver Cliff Branch will be enshrinement along with defensive lineman Richard Seymour, who spent his final four NFL season with the Raiders. Canton is McDaniels’ hometown and he will be part of this game (which is played in the same stadium where he played high school football for his father, Thom).
McDaniels has often talked about the Raiders’ rich history since taking over the team in late January and he is excited about Branch’s induction. The weekend will also be special for him because he was with Seymour in New England for several years and became close. McDaniels said he’s excited about Seymour’s enshrinement.
“Well, Richard is a great human being. That’s what stood out to me right away when we first had him in New England,” McDaniels recently said. I was first impressed with how mature he was, the kind of person he was he really latched on to a lot of the veteran players right away and developed some of their great habits.
“As a player, I remember practices where we would have to make sure we knew on the script which plays he was in there for, and which plays he was not in there for because if he was in there for every play practice would have been a mess for us. And so, we kind of had to pick and choose our battles and he was just a really difficult guy to block, and he lined up all over the front and could be very disruptive at nose, three-technique and pass rush, run game. It was just very difficult to handle him.
“At his size, he was extremely athletic, very explosive, and he was that right away, right off the very first year we had him. So, tremendous honor, very deserving. Difficult to play against him when he came to the Raiders, and we had to compete against him a few times. That was very difficult. I liked it a lot better when he was on our team.”
Seymour recently told Silver and Black Pride that he ”valued” his time with the Raiders (who traded for him in 2009) and “once a Raider, always a Raider.”