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Old 11-14-2006, 01:39 PM   #1
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Default Trouble In Paradise?

By HOWARD ULMAN
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
FOXBORO - On play after play, four-time Pro Bowler Richard Seymour stood on the sideline, wondering why he wasn't on the field at key moments.

The defensive end kept watching as the New York Jets beat his New England Patriots 17-14 on Sunday. Afterward, he said, ''they outplayed us and they outcoached us.''

A dig at coach Bill Belichick? Perhaps, but Belichick and other players often say the same thing after losses.

Might there be a slight crack in the togetherness that has characterized the team through its run of three Super Bowl championships in five years? After all, they did lose back-to-back games for the first time since December 2002 and, at 6-3, lead the Jets by just one game in the AFC East.

''People are disappointed,'' Seymour said yesterday, ''but I don't feel like it's a level of division - you know, this group against that group and forming cliques. It's nowhere near that.''

Seymour felt his playing time was cut and said he didn't ask Belichick or defensive coordinator Dean Pees why. Belichick said yesterday that Seymour participated in about the same number of plays as usual.

''I'm just telling you what the numbers have been game by game,'' Belichick said. ''It's pretty close.''

Seymour, a reliable team player, kept saying he had no control over the playing time decision.

''You want to compete,'' Seymour said, showing no sign of anger, ''but, at the same time, you don't want to do something to put your team in jeopardy. I don't think that was the case.''

He knew his game would be different before it began. With starting left end Ty Warren sidelined with a shoulder injury, Seymour moved from the right side while Jarvis Green started in Seymour's usual spot because Green rarely plays on the left.

Seymour has played on the left side before and practiced there leading up to the game.

But the position change, or elbow and groin injuries, may have affected his play, particularly on the Jets' first TD drive.

With a fourth-and-1 at the Patriots 23-yard line midway through the second quarter, he was shoved several yards backward while Chad Pennington ran for 3 yards.

Kevan Barlow then ran four consecutive times - twice toward Seymour's side and twice up the middle - and each time Seymour was blocked out of the play.

The last resulted in a 2-yard touchdown and a 7-3 Jets lead.

Seymour said his performance didn't suffer because of the position change.

''I think I'm hard on myself,'' he said. ''Some things I could have done better while I was in there, but everyone could have done something better, so we'll just continue to monitor that situation and I'll continue to get healthy.''

Seymour is usually in for almost every play. On Sunday, though, he was credited with just two assisted tackles and no solo stops.

He said the Patriots have some solid defensive linemen and speculated that Belichick might have wanted to try a ''committee'' at those spots.

''I don't want to put myself and the coaches in a hard position, in a hard situation, because I'm all about team,'' Seymour said.

''I think winning takes care of a lot. So, hopefully, I'll be on the field and we'll win this Sunday (at Green Bay, where the 4-5 Packers have won three of their last four).''


(Published: November 14, 2006)

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Old 11-15-2006, 07:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Trouble In Paradise?

It's one game. I wouldn't say there's trouble just yet. The Patriots have been consistent over the last several years. They've lost a game before and seem to always bounce back. It seems like the media is just looking to create something that isn't there!
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