Seymour looks to build on solid start in Oakland

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) - Richard Seymour's debut with the Oakland Raiders went far better than anyone could have hoped considering the five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman was with his new team less than 48 hours.

With a full week of practice under his belt, Seymour's teammates and coaches are wondering what he'll do for an encore.

Seymour had two sacks, two quarterback hurries and six tackles - three solo - in the Raiders' 24-20 loss to San Diego on Monday night. He also energized Oakland's defense, which came up with its best performance in nearly seven years and held Chargers' running back LaDainian Tomlinson to 55 yards rushing before Tomlinson hurt his ankle.

"I trained my butt off this offseason. I knew I was going to be ready to play and that's what it really comes down to," Seymour said Thursday. "My head was still spinning. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm eager to do it."

Seymour's performance against the Chargers capped a strange and somewhat wild week for the 29-year-old veteran. He was traded from New England to the Raiders on Aug. 6, but didn't arrive in Oakland until six days later, raising speculation he was unhappy with the deal.

Seymour landed in town two days before the Raiders' opener, then promptly went out and had one of the best games an Oakland defensive lineman has had in the past five years. But the defense's collapse in the fourth quarter was costly.

"It's not like Richard came in here, and we drew it on the board and he went and made a sandwich and went to bed," defensive coordinator John Marshall said. "He studied. He and (line coach Duane Board), I'd say, six or seven hours between the two days they were in watching film, and he did a lot of film watching on his own."

Seymour's teammates noticed immediately.

"He brought in leadership, something this team needed, I felt, because he's come from a winning organization," Oakland middle linebacker Kirk Morrison said. "He brought just the mentality of being a fighter, not quitting, not giving up, just giving us a little added motivation out there. I think he helped out a lot."

Oakland held San Diego to 172 yards of offense through three-plus quarters before Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers warmed up and led two long scoring drives.

Still, going toe to toe with one of the top teams in the AFC was a definite step forward for an Oakland team many expected to get blown out in the opener.

For Seymour, it was a chance to play football after an emotional week in which he left the only NFL team he ever played for while also having to leave his family behind.

"I think being out on the field, that's my sanctuary," Seymour said. "That's where I can just go and let it all loose and just go have fun. That's what we did Monday night. Unfortunately, we weren't happy with the results."

To adjust to living without his wife and children, albeit temporarily, Seymour brought along a computer and webcam. Because there's a three-hour time difference, Seymour has to wake up long before his teammates to get in some time with his family.

"We've got the iChat (program) so I can see those guys before they go to bed and when they get up in the morning," Seymour said. "I don't know if you all seen that commercial with the (man) in London and his son was eating an Oreo cookie or something like that. So, we'll definitely have some moments like that."

As for rumors he didn't want to come to Oakland, Seymour shrugs them off.

"I try not to judge a situation before I come into it," Seymour said. "That's just like when I watch a movie. Somebody says it's bad - you may like it. I had a lot of issues bigger than football at that time, but the guys have made my transition very easy.

"I haven't been around a team defensively with that much speed. We're just looking to build on what we're trying to start."

Notes: PR Johnnie Lee Higgins didn't practice for a second straight day, meaning S Hiram Eugene will likely return punts against Kansas City on Sunday. ... DE Greg Ellis was limited in practice due to a sore shoulder.


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