Bill Belichick: Junior Seau’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer

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With the Patriots camping out in San Diego this week, coach Bill Belichick took a moment to remember one of the city’s sports legends.

And while Junior Seau is identified with his time with the Chargers, the parts of four seasons he spent with the Patriots made a lasting impact on Belichick.

I loved Junior and his family,” Belichick said, via Phil Perry of “Was out here for the funeral, and it was very emotional. Nobody loved the game more than Junior did. Nobody would be more deserving to be in the Hall of Fame than Junior Seau . . . More than stats, his love of the game, his passion for the game, and the high level that he played at at a very difficult position. I mean, him, Clay Matthews — guys to play as long as they did at that position as well as he did is phenomenal.

“He is so deserving. I hope it happens.”

Seau’s one of the 26 semifinalists for the Hall of Fame voting, and his longevity and production make him a good bet for induction in his first year of eligibility.