By Eric Gilmore | CBSSports.com
July 30, 2012 11:59 am ET
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour, a seven-time Pro Bowl pick, is entering his 12th NFL season and fourth since being traded to the Raiders from New England. He shared his thoughts about the upcoming season under new coach Dennis Allen and first-year general manager Reggie McKenzie.
Question: Some of the guys mentioned that it's a pretty tight ship, checking in for meals. Tighten discipline everywhere and you tighten discipline on the field. You buy that?
Richard Seymour: "We're all grown men and we should all know how to follow the rules. I don't think that's a big adjustment if that's who you are. That's who you should be anyway."
Q: Do you think things need to be tightened up from last year?
RS: "Well, obviously if you don't get to your ultimate goal. We're in the business of change. Every year is different. There's always new coaches and new teammates. And you just learn to adjust with it."
Q: Are you optimistic about the direction things are headed?
RS: "Absolutely, absolutely. We're definitely headed in the right direction. I'm optimistic about the team of guys we have in here, the new regime in terms of management and coaching staff. When everyone is on the same page, you can get a lot accomplished. But we're here at training camp just laying the foundation for what we want to be. There is still a lot of work to be done. It's early. But it's a good time to be a Raider."
Q: How is it do you think that you guys have been able to rush the passer as well as you have when the run defense has been so spotty?
RS: "You just have to be disciplined, be where you're supposed to be when you're supposed to be there. And if you're not, things happen. But we're definitely laying the foundation. Every year is different. Hopefully we'll be a Top 5 defense this year."
Q: What does coach Allen show that leads you to believe that the penalties problem of years past will be rectified?
RS: "Well, he's a hands-on guy. Obviously, being a defensive guy, he has definitely been an influence all across the board. You can see his handprint, definitely, in meeting rooms. From a coaching staff, from the top, everybody is preaching the same message. When we're on the field, we have to get it done. If someone's not doing their job, then you put someone else in there. It's about competing, it's about competition, and that's what training camp always has been about. You're in the wrong business if you don't want to compete."
Q: What are your thoughts on defensive coordinator Jason Tarver?
RS: "Well, he's definitely a knowledgeable guy, he's definitely smart. He always talks about being in the right place at the right time, taking care and doing your job first. That's your responsibility, to take care of your responsibility and do your job. It's still early for everybody. We all are still feeling each other out."
Q: How big of a change is the defensive philosophy under Tarver?
RS: "Every year is different. Each coaching style is different. We'll adjust and do what's asked of us. We definitely here have the athletes that can play any scheme, any defense. That's one thing that we pride ourselves on. If you want to be one of the best, or one of the elite, in the league, you have to be able to do multiple things. Be versatile, playing this front, that front, rush the passer, stop the run, just being an every-down player. That's how you make yourself valuable. It's hard work but this is a big-boy league."