Kraft, Patriots remember Junior Seau
FOXBORO, Mass. (WHDH) -- In four seasons with the New England Patriots, linebacker Junior Seau made a big impression on the team that carried on after he left.
On Thursday, the San Diego County coroner confirmed Junior Seau committed suicide.
“No one ever squeezed me harder after every game,” said Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
Kraft showed 7News a note Seau wrote him after his wife, Myra Kraft, died of cancer last summer.
“He said, ‘I’m so sorry about the passing of Mrs. Kraft. She was an inspiration to me. I have so much respect for all she did to help people lead better lives. I’ll always be there for you and your family, Junior Seau. Love you Buddy,’” said Kraft. “I don’t know if you know, he used to do this ‘Love you Buddy’ and then he enclosed this very generous check to the Myra Kraft Giving Back Fund.”
Tom Brady wrote about Seau on his Facebook page saying, “Junior Seau was a great teammate and even better friend. His legacy will live on and the memories of his time here with us will never be forgotten. We love you ‘Buddy.’”
That was the joke -- Seau called everyone Buddy, unless he really got to know you.
“Knew my name, he knew my name!” said Matthew Slater, about getting beyond the “Buddy.”
Slater grew up in Southern California. He idolized Seau. His father played against him and when he joined the Patriots he got to play with him.
“I’m jogging back to the huddle and Junior Seau’s jogging back to the huddle with me and it’s like, man this is a guy I grew up watching and I’m playing with him now. Pretty special for me,” said Slater.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick released a statement saying: “He respected and inspired every single person he came in contact with - players, coaches and support staff. At the same time as a human being he was as caring, warm and lovable as they come. That’s what I will miss most of all.”