BOSTON (CBS) — After sitting out the first day of Patriots training camp for an unspecified reason, defensive end Kony Ealy was on the field on Friday making up for lost time.
Ealy, acquired over the offseason from the Carolina Panthers, said his absence on Thursday was not injury-related. But he didn’t shed much light on the situation.
“You have to ask Coach Bill [Belichick]. Me and him had something going on, or whatever. Other than that just happy to be back out here, and ready to go,” Ealy told reporters down at Gillette Stadium. “I feel great. Communication is big here, and I feel like I’m getting the communication down. I just have to keep coming out here and mastering my craft, individually, and also with the team. Just gotta keep on working.”
Ealy also missed spring practices, but said he isn’t limited on the field as training camp gets underway. When asked if everything was OK with his new team, Ealy said he wasn’t about to go against the wishes of the coaching staff on Thursday, and appears to be fine with the decision to have him sit.
“Of course. Am I going to go against what Coach Belichick says? No,” he said. “At the end of the day my job is to come here and do everything I need to do for the team and do the right things on and off the field.”
Belichick was asked about Ealy’s situation before the team hit the field on Friday, and would only say that, “he’s here.”
There were questions about Ealy’s commitment during his time in Carolina, but the 25-year-old tried to put those to rest on Friday.
“Football is all I breathe here,” he said.
His return to practice is a good sign for the New England defensive line and pass rush, especially with Rob Ninkovich still missing from practice. Ealy figures to have a big role on the squad after recording 14 sacks over the last three seasons.