New England Patriots  

 

Patriots LB Bruschi hasn't decided on playing future beyond '09 season

  • By Associated Press
More Columns >

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sixty-seven young Tedy Bruschis played football on the New England Patriots' field Tuesday, overseen by a 36-year-old Bruschi who might do that for only one more season.

The boys and girls, aged 7 to 14, all wore dark-blue Patriots jerseys with Bruschi's name and number 54 on them, given as part of the linebacker's one-day football camp at Gillette Stadium.

Bruschi spent less time on that field in 2008 than in recent seasons, often coming out on third down, and it might not be much different in 2009, his 14th NFL season.

Tedy Bruschi, LB
New England Patriots

Career Statistics
Seasons: 13
Sacks: 30.5
Interceptions: 12

So, will there be a 15th? Bruschi said he isn't even thinking about that.

"After you get past 10 (NFL seasons) I think that's the way you have to do it because you never know what's going to happen within a year. You just don't," he said. "So when the season's over, you sort of reassess things, and that's how it's going to go again."

Bruschi's career has been full of surprises. He has spent it all with one team, and he missed just seven games in 2005 after suffering a stroke early that year. Then came the unexpected trade of longtime linebacking teammate and friend Mike Vrabel to the Kansas City Chiefs in February.

Bruschi's numbers were down in 2008. His 75 tackles were his second-fewest in the last six seasons, more than just the 62 he had when he played nine games in 2005 after his stroke. He had no sacks for the first time in his 13 seasons. And he missed the last three games because of a knee injury.

Bruschi appears healthy now, as he ran among the five stations set up Tuesday to provide instruction in tackling, running, catching, kicking and throwing. Four teammates -- linebacker Jerod Mayo, special-teams player Ray Ventrone, tight end David Thomas and kicker Stephen Gostkowski -- and former Patriots quarterback Scott Zolak each handled one station.

"Nice hit," a smiling Bruschi shouted after one boy leveled a yellow tackling bag. "What's your name? Zach? Nice hit."

Then Bruschi and the boy shook hands.

Bruschi held the camp for the second straight year on behalf of Savings Bank Life Insurance, for which he is a spokesman.

"It's a very intense camp," said Bob Sheridan, chief executive officer of SBLI. "It's not just standing around taking pictures."

Bruschi doesn't know when he'll stop playing or what he'll do afterward, but his organized approach to Tuesday's camp showed some coaching skills. Bruschi set up the camp without help from his current coach, Bill Belichick.

"I've had this going on in my head for a while," Bruschi said. "I mapped out the field where the stations will be, how the guys will teach their fundamentals. It's a little Belichikian because I've been trying to keep it organized, and you heard me talking to the kids about getting better and doing their job."

Those are two of Belichick's key points to his players -- get better each day and handle your duties.

"I know I can coach," Bruschi said. "I know the game. I've been in it so long, it's just going to be a matter of what I do when I'm done (playing). So I don't know. It's a passion of mine. I love football. I know I want to be in it. Let's just see what I'll be doing."

On Tuesday, Bruschi ran, smiled, shouted encouragement and slapped hands with campers.

"Do it the way coach Mayo showed you," Bruschi told one of the kids.

Bruschi's son, Rex, was another camper. Tedy was impressed when Rex belted the tackling bag to the turf.

"That's like what you do to me all the time at home," the older Bruschi said with a grin.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

Headlines

The previous element was an advertisement.

NFL Shop

NFL News
CONTENT
15