Oakland Raiders 2010 Preview: Richard Seymour Sets Example for Rookies

There is no substitute for veteran leadership.

Fans that showed up at Oakland Raiders' training camp early in the hopes of seeing some of the 2010 rookie class were treated to a bit of a surprise. Ten-year veteran Richard Seymour arrived on the same bus as the rookies they had hoped to see.

The value of this cannot be overstated.

When a young player sees a consummate professional like Seymour showing up to camp early, it speaks volumes about how important this part of the game is. It forces them to realize what they are about to undertake is vital to the team's success.

This act shows a tremendous amount of leadership from Seymour. It will serve two critical functions.

The first of these functions is that it will impress upon the rookies that no one is above the team. If a 31-year-old Pro Bowler is willing to come in early and help you develop, the least you can do is bust your tail to show him he didn't waste his time.

The second function is creating a buffer between the rookie player and the coaches that may intimidate these young men. When a player fails to understand something that's being taught, there is a veteran there to explain it in "player's terms."

Again, these functions cannot be overstated.

Another lesson Seymour will teach the young men is humility. Seymour had every right to stay at home until he was required to be in camp, but he thought enough of the rookies to forgo showing up later in his much more comfortable personal vehicle.

He rode the bus with them. In essence this says, "You're one of us now, and we're in this together." What a great team-first attitude to instill.

Another aspect of humility shown by Seymour is the fact that he understands that all players have progress to make, things to learn, and things to improve in their game.

By showing up early with the rookies, Seymour is showing them th...

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