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Emotional rescue from Bruschi

PHILADELPHIA -- Tedy Bruschi had one of those "emotional" weeks. You couldn't find too many players more upset about the loss of Lawyer Milloy and the effects on the team.

"Last week was a very emotional week for me," said Bruschi following yesterday's 31-10 win over the Eagles, "but here we are, it's another week where we just wanted to win a football game and get back on track."

Bruschi, who made some strong comments about the move that also questioned his commitment to the Patriots, later recanted those comments and said the Patriots are the only team he ever wants to play for. And as defensive cocaptain, he went about the job of getting the team on the right track again.

"I wasn't going to compromise who I am just because we were 0-1," said Bruschi. "I practice hard and I play hard. You see some guys who need a little bit [of motivation] here and a little bit there and you provide that for them. Being a captain is one thing but I think we have 50 some-odd captains. Everyone stepped it up and that's what happens. You bounce back, you get back on track."

Bruschi doesn't agree that football is a business, as many players said after the Milloy situation. Bruschi said, "Guys can say that all they want, but football will never be business. It'll always be a game where as soon as that ball is snapped I get on that field I'm gonna put my heart out there. I'm gonna be emotional out there."

He does not recall one bell-ringing moment during practice last week when he felt it was all behind the team. He just knows it happened sometime, some way.

As far as the opening-day 31-0 loss and what the effects were of Milloy's release and signing with the Bills, Bruschi said, "I don't take into account whether it was blown out of proportion or not. [The media] have to speculate on certain things. You've got to speculate, you've got to predict. Sometimes people want to say some things and sometimes they decide not to say some things."

Bruschi, who played well all game, got to put the icing on the cake with an 18-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, adding further agony to Donovan McNabb's horrible day.

"I dropped one earlier, so the guys were telling me how to make up for it," Bruschi said. "Donovan just threw it a little bit behind him. There was the ball, right there, and all I had to do was run 15-20 yards."


With Ted Johnson out at least until midseason with a broken foot, the Patriots yesterday suffered injuries to linebacker Rosevelt Colvin (left leg) and rookie Eugene Wilson in the first half. Wilson was the surprise starter at free safety, replacing Antwan Harris. However, Wilson had the wind knocked out of him on a kick return and had to be helped off the field. He did return in the second half. Quarterback Tom Brady was seen with a wrap on his right elbow after the game . . . Center Damien Woody wasn't recovered enough from a sore sternum suffered in last week's loss to the Bills to play. The Patriots gave the nod to Boston College rookie Dan Koppen. Also out were safety Je'Rod Cherry, Johnson, tackle Brandon Gorin, wide receiver David Givens, defensive lineman Rick Lyle, and nose tackle Dan Klecko, who was returning to the city where he played collegiately (Temple). Rohan Davey was the third quarterback . . . The Patriots signed guard Russ Hochstein from the practice squad to fill out the 53d roster spot. Hochstein was also active for the game, giving the Patriots seven offensive linemen . . . Offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi left the game for a series, replaced by Tom Ashworth . . . Former Patriots running back Patrick Pass was spotted near the team hotel but he was not part of the roster changes the team made before the game.


As bad off as the Patriots were on the injury front, the Eagles had it worse. They were without All-Pro defensive backs Brian Dawkins and Bobby Taylor, and defensive ends Jerome McDougle and Brandon Whiting . . . New England linebacker Matt Chatham made one of the best special teams plays of the day when he dived to knock a punt out of bounds at the Eagles' 3 in the first quarter . . . Tyrone Poole committed two 15-yard facemask penalties . . . Ted Washington, who left the team following Thursday's practice to attend his grandmother's funeral, played a full game at nose tackle . . . Larry Centers caught his 814th pass in the second quarter, moving him into an eighth-place tie with Henry Ellard on the all-time list . . . Willie McGinest filled in for Colvin and made two sacks of McNabb, forced a fumble, and recovered a fumble . . . Lonie Paxton had a rare bad snap on a field goal attempt by Adam Vinatieri in the second quarter, allowing the Eagles to take over.

Michael Smith of the Globe staff contributed to this report.

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