Healthy Brady is ready to go
FOXBOROUGH - Let’s get this over with right from the top: Tom Brady’s hair is short again. Not the buzzcut style he wore earlier in his career, but short enough that it no longer will be poking out from under his helmet.
Now that that’s covered, on to what the quarterback said in his first news conference of training camp:
The reigning league MVP said he’s excited to be playing football again and declared his right foot, which required offseason surgery, to be “100 percent.’’
“I feel really good; I feel about as good as I can feel,’’ he said. “I feel excited. I think everyone’s been anxious to get out here and start playing and getting back to doing things that we really love to do.’’
He stumped for longtime teammate Matt Light, an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career. Light’s agent and the team are in talks to keep the Pro Bowler in New England.
“I love Matt. Matt’s one of my favorite players that I’ve ever played with. He’s a great guy, great for this team, great in the community,’’ Brady said. “I can’t say enough about Matt. I hope he’s back but those decisions aren’t up to me.’’
One of 10 named plaintiffs in the lawsuit against the NFL, Brady shied away from talking about his role in the lockout.
“I think that I’m just glad that we’re back here playing,’’ he said. “I haven’t thought too much about ‘it’s over.’ It feels like football season to me, it feels like training camp to me. It feels like we have a lot of work to do. The reward for all of us is doing something we love to do. I think all of us players, all of us coaches, we love doing this, we love playing, we love being out here, we love being with our teammates. And that’s the greatest part about it, especially being here.’’
Brady did have a word about one of his newest teammates, Albert Haynesworth. Haynesworth’s crushing hit on Brady in a 2009 preseason game left the quarterback with three cracked ribs he dealt with for the entire year.
“I saw him this morning and said, ‘I still haven’t forgiven you for that.’ He said ‘God, I’ve got a lot of friends up here’ and they have all given him a lot of grief over the years,’’ Brady said. “Hopefully he can come in and fill a role and be a big part of the success of this team. I think that’s what we’re all trying to do.’’
Bodden’s receptive Cornerback Leigh Bodden played for the Browns from 2003-07, giving him plenty of time to get to know the AFC North rival Bengals pretty well - and Chad Ochocinco.
Over the years, Bodden said he developed a respect for the receiver and is looking forward to learning from him as a teammate.
Bodden said there were plenty of challenges in facing Ochocinco.
“He’s got a lot of speed,’’ Bodden said. He comes out of his breaks good. He runs his routes really good. I mean he’s a good receiver.
“It’s just good that he’s part of the team and I’ll get to work against him [in practice]. It’s always good to work against good competition. I’m just ready to get the work in with whoever gets put in front of me.’’
Arrington extended Cornerback Kyle Arrington signed a two-year extension with the Patriots, his agent confirmed. The deal has a maximum value of $3.275 million.
Arrington was an exclusive-rights free agent, so the team did not have to do an extension with the soon-to-be 25-year-old and could have simply had him sign his tender, but agent Richard Kopelman said it is a credit to the team that it agreed to the extension.
“They didn’t have to offer us anything at all,’’ Kopelman said. “[But] this is really a win-win: it gives Kyle some security and recognizes the contributions he made last year. It made Kyle feel good.’’
Big deal is done New England finalized its trade with Washington yesterday, officially making Haynesworth a Patriot. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, but ESPN reported that the Patriots would send the Redskins a fifth-round pick in 2013 . . . One of the biggest questions fans had since hearing Ochocinco was headed to New England was whether he’d be getting jersey No. 85 from Aaron Hernandez and what it might cost to do so. Mystery (mostly) solved: When the trade was finally complete and Ochocinco donned a jersey in the afternoon practice, it was 85. It is believed that Hernandez let the veteran have the number as a way of welcoming him to the team. The second-year tight end was wearing shorts bearing 81 - his college number - in the afternoon . . . The Patriots announced the signings of third-round draft pick Ryan Mallett and fifth-round pick Marcus Cannon. Mallett’s four-year deal is worth $2.2 million, including a $650,000 signing bonus . . . There is one training camp session today, from 8:30-11 a.m. It is expected the team will be in full pads for the first time.