FOXBORO (CBS) – The Patriots will once again hold a late practice Thursday.
This was up in the air because of the union vote, but the collective bargaining agreement has been approved, so the Pats will practice from 4:30-to-7:30 p.m. It will be open to the public.
More importantly, because the agreement has been signed, it will also be the first time that some players – Matt Light, Kevin Faulk, Logan Mankins, BenJarvus Green Ellis – will be on the field. They haven’t practiced yet because they had all signed new contracts.
The Pats will start to look like a team and Bill Belichick can really see what he has in camp.
MATT LIGHT EXCITED
At the Patriots closed practice Wednesday night for season ticket holders, newly signed offensive left tackle Matt Light, was on hand.
The Pats signed him to a new contact over the weekend and he spoke about coming back and playing for the only team he’s ever been with.
How excited is he to be back?
“I’m excited. I’m excited for all these guys out here, for all the work that both sides did to get this deal done. This is a heck of a time. We’ve been sitting around waiting around for this moment. For me personally, my family and everybody else, we’re really excited to be back here in New England… There has not been a time in my life that I’ve been more ready to play the game of football. I think being away from it, not being able to be around the guys, not being able to enjoy an offseason program like we do around here, for a lot of guys in our locker room it was painful.”
On returning to protect Tom Brady’s blindside:
“At the end of the day, it’s more this organization. I shared with the Kraft family what it meant for me to be a part of this over the last decade; the caliber of player they bring in, the work ethic, the expectations, everything all wrapped into one, there’s a reason we’ve been successful. There’s a reason guys want to play here. Again, like I said, I’m just happy to be a part of it for another year or two.”
Reaction on left tackle Nate Solder as a first-round pick:
“Hey, you know, competition is the name of the game. There’s always going to be guys, pushing everybody at every level, when you have a coach like Bill [Belichick] and the rest of the staff. I think it’s a good thing. I think it drives all of us. That’s why we’re out here. We’re out here to compete – compete against each other, compete against the opponent. Drafting a guy that will come in and fill in for these old bones, it was inevitable. Hopefully we’ll have some fun teaching him a thing or two out here.”
As a player rep, where things stand with the new CBA:
“Right now, we haven’t had a conference call. I think we do have one later on this evening, so I’ll have a lot more information. I know they’re going back and forth right now on some of these issues that are outstanding, whether it’s player conduct issues and things of that nature, to the testing, there are things that need to be ironed out. I’m sure they will. It was a long process. I think both understood that you had to compromise, you had to at least get to the table to get things resolved, and they’re doing that now like they did the last couple weeks.”