May 302002
 
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Q&A: Guard Rich Seubert

by David Oliver

Rich Seubert, undrafted free agent in his second season. Listed as 6’5″ tall and 295 pounds. Played at Western Illinois, in the Gateway Conference. Started his career as a tight end. Rich has developed a reputation for playing “tough”.

I started by asking where was he “mentally” right now?

RS: I think mentally I’m all right. It’s going to be a big change for me, a big step, but I’m looking forward to the challenge. I hope everything works out…Chris (Bober), and I and Rosie (Mike Rosenthal), out of the three of us, two of us have to step up and play well this year.

I asked if he didn’t mean all three, and he readily agreed that yes, all three had to step up for the season to work. I told him that the defensive guys considered him to be tough.

RS: I just play hard. I just like to give it my all every play in practice. I think the guys I’m going against every day in practice, Grif (Cornelius Griffin) and Hammer (Keith Hamilton), help. To be the best, you have to go against the best and going against those guys on the defensive line really helps me out. I learn a lot…going against Hammer, especially, even this week, he’s so slick with his hands, and I know what I have to do to get better if I want to compete at that level. Even Grif, he’s been around a couple of years now and he knows some moves, so I think if I can stop those guys in practice, I’ll be able to stop anybody who we play against…I work on technique, form, footwork and all that good stuff.

We talked about the opportunity, for him and the other young players.

RS: I just want to step on that field and play. Last year I played on a couple of kickoff returns. I just want to get out there and get my first game in, get my first play in. It’ll be exciting. I’m already excited. I’m looking forward to camp, looking forward to the pre-season, just to prove to people that I can play; being an undrafted free agent from a smaller school, I just want to make a point and prove to people that I can play.

We talked about the difference between offensive and defensive players and the belief that defensive players had a “crazed” mentality.

RS: I don’t believe in that, like defensive linemen are more crazy than offensive linemen because we have to come just as hard or else we’re going to get pushed back. Playing in the trenches, it takes a different kind of person to play down there, the battle every play, to be banging heads with somebody 300 pounds, it takes a different kind of person. But defensive-offensive linemen, I think we both have a little bit to the crazy side…no fear.

I asked if he had a preference between run or pass blocking, and his answer was very interesting. As he thought about it, he changed emphasis without missing a beat.

RS: I like doing one-on-ones; they’re tough; but one-on-one pass blocking, I like to do. Run blocking is fun, too. I like blocking when I have someone with me. Two-against-one is always better than one-on-one.

So it looks as if he enjoys the one-on-one contest in the passing game, but doesn’t mind a little team mauling in the run game, so I asked him about Madden always talking about the line loving a running drive and the ability to pound it out.

RS: That’s a good time, when you get down there at the goal line, if you can just punch in right over the top of their defense, right over the heart of their defensive line, that’s a big thrill, that’s what every offensive lineman likes to do, put a guy on his back or knock a guy back 3 yards. That’s what we work for.

I next asked him if he was up to it.

RS: Oh, I’m up to it. I’m not nervous. I have a few jitters, but when it comes time everything will be thrown out the window. I’m just going to go out there and play, and go 100% every play. What happens, happens. I’m pretty positive I’ll be able to play. I’m looking forward to the challenge. It’s going to be fun out there.

I then asked him if he had a little chip on his shoulder, being a small school guy.

RS: Yeah. Like Jason Whittle and I always talk about, we’re from the Gateway, so we have a little Gateway connection. Some people talk about how many guys are from Notre Dame, and how many guys are from different schools, and we always say, the Gateway Conference because we don’t have that many, but it’s fun. I have a little chip on my shoulder, I went to a smaller school. I got to play at a smaller school, I got my chance, that’s all I can ask for, not too many people get the chance and I’ve got the chance to play and I’m just going to make the best of it.

I finished up by asking him what we should look for.

RS: 100% effort.

Before leaving the linemen, I stopped by for a chat with Dwayne Pierce. He told me “It’s taking a little while, but its coming. My technique is coming back.” He told me he was working on being consistent, that he feels great, then he said “I’m waiting to get the shoulder pads on; then I can really show them something.” He was grinning from ear to ear.

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