Patriots

Bill Belichick embraces Tedy Bruschi’s returns to Patriots training camp practices

Bruschi has visited practice twice during training camp and has even given some advice to Patriots rookie Ronnie Perkins.

Patriots Tedy Bruschi Bill Belichick
Bill Belichick, left, smiles while speaking with former Patriots player Tedy Bruschi. Steven Senne/AP
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When a reporter asked Bill Belichick Wednesday about former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi making guest appearances at training camp practices, the New England head coach started off his answer in typical Belichick fashion: “Well, those players are welcome…it’s great to see them.”

But even he couldn’t deny there was something special about Bruschi, whose storied career in Foxborough embodies the “Patriot Way” as much as arguably player (save maybe one).

Bruschi has visited training camp practice on two occasions during camp — once last Thursday and again on Tuesday, which marked the Patriots’ first padded practice of the summer.

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“Tedy’s meant as much to this program as just about anybody,” his old coach said. “He was a tremendous player and leader and inspiration both on and off the field, had a great career. I appreciate his friendship and his support. Certainly, anybody with the kind of experience he has can lend some good insight to all of us. So, it’s good to see him back.”

The 13-year veteran linebacker spent his entire career with New England after the team drafted him in the third round of the 1996 NFL Draft. All he did from there was earn two Second-Team All-Pro honors (2003, 2004), an NFL Comeback Player of the Year award (2005), and three Super Bowl titles. He’s now a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame as well.

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Though Bruschi spends some time these days as an ESPN analyst, he’s also apparently ready to help the next generation of Patriots defensive players shine.

After Tuesday’s padded practice, the longtime linebacker had a one-on-one conversation with third-round rookie Ronnie Perkins. The rookie edge-rusher wrote on Twitter afterward that he was “blessed and honored to receive advice from one of the best to ever lace up the cleats.”

Perkins and the Patriots will look to build on that first padded practice with a lighter day Wednesday (shoulder pads only) before getting back to the fully padded grind on Thursday and Friday.

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