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Seymour praises fellow Bulldogs

The NFL draft is still a month away yet Patriots fans and mock draft lovers everywhere have been talking for months about what the team might do with its two first-round draft picks. And while at number 14 and 19 of the first round the team will have to wait to see how the first 13 picks of the draft unfold, two names that have come up with some regularity are University of Georgia linebacker Boss Bailey and his defensive line teammate Johnathan Sullivan.

One person who has high praise for both Bulldogs is former teammate and current Patriots Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour. Last week Seymour, at Gillette Stadium for the Patriots offseason program, was quick to point to the impressive athleticism of each his former mates.

"He's a talented guy," Seymour said of the 6-3, 299-pound Sullivan. "He's a guy that's an athlete. There's nothing else I can say about it. He's a guy that could definitely go alongside me and make plays. He's a playmaker, that's how I look at him. He can do it all. He can stop the run He can pass rush. He's an every down player in my mind. He isn't a guy that you have to pull out on third down. He's a guy like myself that you can just leave in the game and let him go."

And as far as Bailey is concerned, Seymour simply laughed in regards to the player's incredible athleticism, a trait that runs in his family. Boss' older brother Champ, a Pro Bowl corner of the Washington Redskins, was seventh players selected in the 1999 draft.

"Man, Boss Bailey, he's an athlete," Seymour said with a smile of the 6-3, 230-pound linebacker. "When I was there my junior year he jumped out of the gym. He's a toned athlete. But with the Baileys, that runs in the family. They have a younger brother, who I think is like six years old now, who's going to be the best one of them all."

So while his opinion might not carry much weight when April 26 comes around, Seymour has thrown in his 2 cents full of praise for two former Georgia teammates. And if you believe the mock drafts out there, at least one of them has as a good chance of ending up in New England as any other players.

2002, an offensive year

A look back at the numbers from last season from around the NFL shows that it was a record setting year for offensive production. In 2002 games averaged 43.3 points, the highest average since 1983. Games also averaged 656.7 yards, the most since 1995.

The area that really showed the biggest explosion was the passing game. Quarterbacks attempted 17,292 passes, the most in NFL history and there were 79 300-yard passing games. Quarterbacks also completed a record 59.6 percent of those passes.

That production turned into record setting point totals, including a record 11,097 points. A significant portion of those points came from the record 1,270 touchdowns that were scored last season. And a record number of those scores came in the kicking game, where there were a record 39 touchdowns, a record 22 coming on punt returns.

Notes

Former Portsmouth (R.I.) High and Boston College running back Mike Cloud has been suspended by the league for four games for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug called Nandrelone. Currently a free agent, Cloud would have to sign with a team and serve the four-game suspension prior to playing in 2003. In four seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs the former 1999 second-round pick played in 56 games with six starts. His career numbers include 121 carries for 381 yards and four touchdowns. … In contract news over the weekend Jaguars running back Fred Taylor reportedly signed a four-year extension with the team, while Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas reportedly signed a five-year extension.

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