Brady, Belichick recall Seau fondly

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- Junior Seau is one of the 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2015. On Thursday, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick remembered him fondly.

"I have no doubt he'll be elected,'' Brady said at the resort hotel the Patriots have used as their team headquarters this week. "If he can't make it, nobody can. He's truly one of a kind. It was a privilege playing with him.''

Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl selection who committed suicide May 2, 2012, spent his last four seasons with the Patriots. Seau also played 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers and three years with the Miami Dolphins.

Seau, who is in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame, is one of the 15 modern-era finalists who will be considered by the Hall's Board of Selectors on Saturday. Of the 15 a maximum of five can be enshrined in the Class of '15.

"It's obviously got to happen,'' Belichick said. "I can't imagine having a Professional Football Hall of Fame without Junior Seau in it.''

Seau played 38 games for the Patriots between 2006 and 2009, including all 16 games in the 2007 season to go with three playoff games as the Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl.

"He was a phenomenal player, teammate, friend,'' Brady said. "His attitude was infectious. He brought enthusiasm every day to practice. He showed up in the room and he'd be the first person there at six in the morning on the treadmill running, going into his 18th year in the league. He had a love for life and he's missed by all of his family and friends, and certainly by me and the guys that had a chance to be around him. He was a special person.''

"The one word that comes to me when I think of Junior in life and football (is) passion,'' Belichick said. "He's a very passionate guy, lot of energy, lot of enthusiasm. First guy in the building in the morning, watching film, lifting weights, ready for practice, always loved to practice, flying around on the practice field, energy before the game on the sideline (and) during the game, emotional player, but a smart player ... I loved coaching him and he always expressed how much he enjoyed playing on the New England Patriots and that meant a lot to me.''