Richard Seymour took the stage in Canton, Ohio on Saturday to accept his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, crediting those who supported him as everything came full circle for the all-time player.
Seymour was introduced by Titus Duren, his former high school principal, who spoke in a video highlight collection of Seymour's best plays. "I realized he was special and had no doubt he would be successful," said Duren, adding that Seymour was, " A big fella but he could move," a player whose athletic ability allowed him to dominate.
The teary-eyed Seymour revealed his bust that will reside in the Hall of Fame, a place he called "football heaven," after taking the stage.
"I'm overwhelmed today with humility not because of what this moment says about me, but what this moment says about 'we' and what 'we' can do together," began Seymour. "I'm overwhelmed with gratitude because I didn't get here alone, none of us did. None of us could have. Class of '22, they say you can judge a man by the company he keeps, I couldn't be among better company than you. It's a privilege to have my name bound forever with yours in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Seymour continued on, thanking his family and first support network who provided his foundation.
"This day belongs to my family," said Seymour, adding they positioned him for success at Georgia. Seymour joked he wanted to play somewhere warm as he prepared to make his jump to the NFL, but didn't realize the cold northeast would be a perfect fit with a veteran team and teammates like Willie McGinest, Rodney Harrison, Otis Smith, Ty Law and Mike Vrabel, who provided valuable role models.
"We had a young quarterback but we made it work," cracked Seymour with a smile, before turning his attention to the team's owner, Robert Kraft.
"You showed us that being consistent in the little things added up to big things, always with heart and humanity," said Seymour of Kraft. "RKK, thank you for being a mentor and a dear friend. You too will grace this stage."
Finally, Seymour thanked head coach Bill Belichick.
"This wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for coach Belichick," said Seymour. "The lessons that I've learned from you set me up for success not just in the game but in life."
After being selected sixth-overall in 2001 by the Patriots, Seymour immediately made an impact, helping lead the franchise to their first championship. He would only get better from that point, going on win two more Super Bowls while earning First Team All-Pro in three-straight seasons (2003-2005) and finally finishing his career with seven trips to the Pro Bowl.
The mammoth defensive lineman didn't ignite the stat sheet, but was a major disruptive force in the trenches, earning the respect of every opponent that he lined up across from. Last fall, Seymour finally received his red jacket as part of his induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame, a delayed process due to COVID-19.
With a gold jacket added to his wardrobe, Seymour's football legacy as one of the all-time greats has been cemented. He was the 10th Patriot to land in the Hall of Fame in Canton, but he certainly won't be the last, with owner Robert Kraft potentially the next to follow.