FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Junior Seau is going from the surf to the turf -- again.
Seau signed with the New England Patriots on Friday, coming out of retirement for the second time to help bolster his former team's injury-depleted defense.
"What it took was a coach that you respect made a call, come out and help guys that you have a lot of love for," Seau said. "Obviously, there's a lot of history here with us and it wasn't a hard decision. You just care for the guys in this locker room and you care for the coach and organization and that's the only reason I'm here."
The 39-year-old linebacker takes the roster spot of Adalius Thomas, who was placed on injured reserve and will miss the rest of the season after breaking his left forearm Nov. 9 against Buffalo. The Patriots, 7-5 but with a shot at the AFC East title or a wild-card playoff berth, also are without injured linebackers Eric Alexander and Pierre Woods.
Seau rejoined New England two days after linebacker Rosevelt Colvin also came back to the team. Neither has played this season. Colvin, a nine-year veteran, spent five seasons with the Patriots before being released in February. He signed with the Houston Texans, but was released in August.
Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl player and avid surfer, will suit up Sunday when the Patriots visit Seattle.
"He went from the surfboard back to the football field," Belichick said Friday. "He can probably make that transition better than any player that's ever played."
Seau retired after last season following two years with the Patriots, who had lured him out of a brief retirement in August 2006. He had 76 tackles, 3 1/2 sacks and a career-high three interceptions in 19 games last season.
Seau was living in San Diego, spending time with his wife and family, when Belichick called Wednesday. Seau visited Foxborough on Thursday, attended a team walkthrough and was signed.
"I have no time to get all drama, I just don't. I don't want to go 'Oprah' on you," Seau said. "It is what it is. I was cutting up oranges for a cooler for (daughter) Cindy Seau and now I'm here putting on cleats. That's life. You have to make adjustments and make them quick."
Belichick said he always has had a deep appreciation of Seau's skill and dedication.
"He's ready to play football," Belichick said. "He's a football player. You look football player up in the dictionary, Junior Seau, Troy Brown, those are the guys. They just define it in every sense of the word."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press