Richard Seymour apologizes -- to Raiders -- after hitting Ben Roethlisberger
Updated at 8:18 p.m.
Oakland Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour apologized -- to his teammates -- for smacking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the facemask in Pittsburgh's 35-3 victory.
After throwing a touchdown pass that gave Pittsburgh a 21-3 lead, Roethlisberger jumped into the arms of his tackle, Flozell Adams, then began walking. He seemed to speak to Seymour, who turned and struck Roethlisberger in the jaw. As Roethlisberger fell to the ground, lineman Chris Kemoeatu grabbed Seymour. Both Seymour and Kemoeatu drew penalties and Seymour was ejected.
"I apologize to my teammates," Seymour said afterward. "I never want to do anything to hurt the team. You always want to protect yourself, but there's no excuse. ... I'm not sure why he [Roethlisberger] ran up on me. I just turned around and it was a natural reaction."
Seymour said he doesn't remember Roethlisberger saying anything to him. Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh's coach, downplayed the incident...no doubt measuring his words because, as Tony Dungy said, translating coachspeak on NBC's "Sunday Night Football" telecast, officials had let the game get out of hand and Tomlin didn't want to say that. There were scuffles, 163 yards in penalties and James Harrison of the Steelers was flagged for roughing the passer.
"I'm not going to let that play cloud my opinion of Richard Seymour," Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said afterward. "I think he's an awesome football player and professional. It just got away from us all."
Roethlisberger was equally measured: "It is what it is. I wasn't expecting that from him."
The league will sort this out this week.
| November 21, 2010; 6:18 PM ET
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