Belichick: 'A day later, Seau's death still hard to believe'

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Belichick: 'A day later, Seau's death still hard to believe'

Rarely does one Bill Belichick show any type of emotion in regards to anything.

But the news on Junior Seau is an obvious exception.

Electing to remain silent on the day of his death, Belichick released a statement on Thursday, still in disbelief at the news. While Seau wasn't on the Patriots for long, the impact he left on the entire team will live on forever. And as Belichick notes, it's not just Junior Seau the football player, but Junior Seau the person.

A day later, it is still hard to believe," Belichick said in the statement released by the Patriots. "Of all the players I have coached, nobody was more full of energy and vitality than Junior Seau. He respected and inspired every single person he came in contact with players, coaches and support staff. His defied the odds by playing two decades in the NFL at a level and with a youthful spirit rarely seen but appreciated by everyone.

"Junior will always be remembered as a intense Hall of Fame player from the old school. He was a charismatic icon. At the same time, as a human being he was as caring, warm and lovable as they come. Thats what I will miss most of all. It was a privilege to have coached Junior Seau. My condolences to his family.

Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

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Freeman, Coleman lift Falcons past Saints, 45-32

NEW ORLEANS - Devonta Freeman practically wore out the Superdome turf with one long gain after another, Tevin Coleman wouldn't be denied near the goal line and the New Orleans Saints hardly looked like the team that made an emotional homecoming nearly 10 years ago to the day.

Cheers turned to boos, and many fans filed out early.

Coleman rushed for three touchdowns, Matt Ryan passed for two TDs and Deion Jones returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help the Atlanta Falcons beat the winless New Orleans Saints 45-32 on Monday night.

"It was real fun. Everybody was doing their job and everybody was playing for each other," Coleman said. "Everything clicked, and we got it done. It's a real big win for us to beat this team here."

The game coincided with New Orleans' celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Saints' memorable return to the Superdome on Sept. 25, 2006, 13 months after Hurricane Katrina. But there would be no reprise of New Orleans' dominant and emotional 23-3 triumph over Atlanta a decade ago.

The Saints' depleted defense struggled to slow Freeman, who rushed for 152 yards and caught five passes for 55 yards. Coleman also was effective in the passing game out of the backfield, with three receptions for 47 yards to go with his 42 yards rushing.

"We have to stop the run better," Saints coach Sean Payton said. "They were over 200 yards in situations where you knew the run was coming, even at the end of the game."

Ryan finished with 240 yards passing for Atlanta (2-1), which did not turn the ball over and moved into sole possession of first place in the NFC South.

Drew Brees put up his usual big numbers - 376 yards and three TDs passing - and hit tight end Coby Fleener seven times for 109 yards and a TD. But Brees' tipped pass that resulted in Jones' TD return early in the fourth quarter gave the Falcons a 45-25 lead that proved too much for New Orleans to overcome.