nevermind, I figured it out.
I use facelets so jsp errors are not what I'm used to troubleshooting in jboss/seam.
My mistake was I replaced the jsf libraries in tomcat. I changed an entry in the web.xml pointing to the new library and everything worked.
<init-param> <description>MyFaces tlds</description> <param-name>tagLibJar0</param-name> <param-value>jsf-libs/myfaces-impl-1.1.3.jar</param-value> </init-param>