Safety happens with teamwork.


Byline: Rich Garven COLUMN: PATRIOTS NOTES FOXBORO - Call it a Junior achievement. The Patriots opened their season with a 19-17 win over Buffalo on Sunday, the deciding points coming on a safety. Defensive end Ty Warren tackled Bills quarterback J.P. Losman in the end zone with 8:55 to play. The sold-out crowd at Gillette Stadium cheered madly as Warren accepted congratulations from his teammates. Linebacker Junior Seau looked on and smiled ... a good 30 yards away. "He really made the play," coach Bill Belichick said of Seau. The play, as described by Belichick, had the Bills looking to hit tight end Robert Royal down the middle on a play-action pass. Seau, at inside linebacker, dropped into coverage and stayed with Royal, denying Losman his primary target. That gave linebacker Tully Banta-Cain, who arrived on the scene first, and Warren time to corral Losman. "Plays like that that would never show up on the stats sheet," Belichick said. "It wasn't a tackle. It wasn't an assist. It wasn't a pressure, but without that it might have been 40 yards the other way instead of the safety." Seau did make the stat sheet, making eight tackles. "I thought he did a good job," Belichick said. "I mean it wasn't perfect, but he was in on a lot of plays, both run and pass, and his recognition, his assignments and all of that were pretty good." Belichick presented a game ball afterward to Seau, who wasn't really interested in talking about any of that prior to practice yesterday. "Winning is everything," he said. Seau has only been a Patriot for a month now, having signed here as a free agent Aug. 18 - three days after his retirement celebration in San Diego. It already seems like he's been here forever. Having spent the first 16 seasons of his career playing in Southern California and Miami, one might think some of that laid back beach attitude has rubbed off on Seau. Turns out he's an early riser. The day after the Buffalo win, Belichick recalled walking by the meeting room. It wasn't quite 6 a.m., but Seau was already watching film. "He's a football guy," Belichick said. "He's into it. Whenever he has free time, he's watching tape, studying his assignments, asking questions, meeting with (linebackers coach) Matt (Patricia), going over things. It's important to him. "He has a lot of energy on the field. He loves football and he's a great guy to coach. He's easy to coach. He just wants to do it right, wants to win and you can't ask any more than that." Seau laughed the...

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