After a decade and
a half as one of the most prolific freelancing linebackers in the game's
history, Seau has found a middle ground between his own instincts and the
system. "He's toned it down," says Garrett, "but on some plays you
can see where his freelancing helps them. It can be confusing to the
In the locker room
Seau has brought a fresh excitement to the corporate efficiency of the
Patriots. "Energizer Bunny," says Thomas. "Full of that
emotion." On Sept. 16, the first Sunday after the Patriots were caught
videotaping the Jets' defensive signals, it was Seau whose voice was loudest,
circling the room and imploring that everyone play for the honor of the
franchise and the coach. Three weeks later, on one of his two interceptions
against Cleveland, he held the ball at arm's length in traffic on his runback,
a silly, celebratory act of pure joy.
drives Seau, as it drives them all. On a midweek morning he walks down one of
the long, wide hallways at field level of Gillette Stadium. Patriots players
are loath to express what might lie ahead, but they all see it. "I live day
to day, and I do not look ahead," says Seau. "But you do know it's
something special that's been put together with this team and these guys. I'm
in a good place."
He breaks into a
jog, then passes through a wide archway and into the autumn sunshine, living
just another beautiful day in the 'backerhood.