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Transcript from Tedy Bruschi’s press conference

08.31.09 at 2:43 pm ET
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Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the complete transcript of Tedy Bruschi’s press conference from earlier today at Gillette Stadium:
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Bruschi’s torchbearers

08.31.09 at 2:12 pm ET
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FOXBOROUGH — With Monday’s retirement of Tedy Bruschi, there’s going to be a huge leadership void in the Patriots locker room to fill.

So big, in fact, that many of the veterans realize no one single player will be able to pull it off — not for now, at least.

“Leadership, it was always a key with that guy,” nose tackle Vince Wilfork said of No. 54. “You knew exactly what you had when he was on the field. We have a bunch of guys around here. It’s going to be tough but at the same time I think we have enough veterans on this team to that we can all rally together to put together what those guys like Troy Brown and Tedy started. Now they’re basically passing it to us. I think with the group of guys we have in here, we’ll continue it.”

And one of those guys is 33-year-old Kevin Faulk, who now becomes the player with the most seniority on the Patriots at 11 seasons.

“It’s going to take a handful of guys,” Faulk said. “A lot of the guys, younger guys, older guys, veteran guys, just guys that understand what’s at stake here, what we have to do as football team, and that’s come together. He’s older than me. Ever since I came in, he’s been making big plays. It’s just seeing him each and every week with the emotion he needs to play this game.”

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Turn Up the Volume- Linebackers React to Bruschi Retirement

08.31.09 at 1:53 pm ET
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FOXBOROUGH — The retirement of Tedy Bruschi puts a new focus on the linebacker position for the Patriots. Now, Adalius Thomas, Jerod Mayo, Pierre Woods, Gary Guyton and Shawn Crable will have to step up and try to replace Bruschi. On Monday, Thomas and Mayo both spoke to reporters after the press conference at Gillette Stadium. Although Mayo only played one season with Bruschi, it was obvious Bruschi impacted the young linebacker greatly. Turn up the volume on your computer and take a listen to what Thomas and Mayo had to say.

Jerod Mayo says he was “hurt” when he received the news about Bruschi.

Mayo talks about what Bruschi has taught him.

Mayo discusses his perceptions coming in as a rookie last year and how Tedy Bruschi helped him.

Jerod Mayo says the torch has been passed down now.

Mayo talks about the void the defense will now have to fill with Tedy Bruschi’s absense.

Adalius Thomas says it was an honor to play with Tedy Bruschi.

Thomas talks about how he’ll remember Tedy Bruschi.

Adalius Thomas talks about how he found out about Bruschi’s retirment and his initial reaction.

Adalius Thomas talks about how the defense will replace Tedy Bruschi.

Adalius Thomas comments on the linebackers as a whole now that Tedy Bruschi is gone.

Read More: Adalius Thomas, Gary Guyton, Jerod Mayo, Pierre Woods

Monday Practice Report

08.31.09 at 1:30 pm ET
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FOXBOROUGH — Just got back from watching the media portion of the Monday practice session. The practice was in shorts and shells, and the following players were absent: wide receiver Julian Edelman, wide receiver Brandon Tate, cornerback Terrence Wheatley, cornerback Shawn Springs, running back Laurence Maroney, linebacker Tyrone McKenzie, offensive lineman Dan Connolly, offensive lineman Mark LeVoir, wide receiver Wes Welker, tight end David Thomas, defensive lineman Myron Pryor, linebacker Shawn Crable, defensive lineman Mike Wright.

In addition, cornerback Darius Butler and running back Sammy Morris were in red non-contact jerseys. We had our eyes on quarterback Tom Brady to see if there was any carryover from Albert Haynesworth’s hit Friday night, but he did not attempt any passes while we were in attendance.

Pats release O’Connell, Hodel

08.31.09 at 12:10 pm ET
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The Patriots have just announced they have released quarterback Kevin O’Connell and long snapper Nathan Hodel. Here’s the full text of the statement from the team:
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Bruschi officially retires

08.31.09 at 11:46 am ET
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FOXBOROUGH — Saying ‘€œit’€™s a great day for me,’€ Tedy Bruschi officially retired from football Monday morning at Gillette Stadium.

‘€œI did my job for 13 years, and now, my job is done,’€ Bruschi said, referencing the familiar ‘€œDo Your Job’€ sign at the front of the players’€™ entrance at Gillette Stadium. ‘€œI’€™m looking forward to living the rest of my life.’€

The 36-year-old Bruschi played 13 seasons for the Patriots, helping New England win three Super Bowl title. A third-round pick out of Arizona in 1996, the linebacker was one of the most popular players in franchise history, and played in 189 regular-season games, more than any linebacker in the history of the franchise.

Bruschi was accompanied by his wife, Heidi, as well as team owner Robert Kraft and Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Kraft and Belichick addressed the media before Bruschi, and talked about the linebacker in glowing terms as someone who helped create a culture of winning in Foxborough.

‘€œTedy embodies everything we want the Patriots’€™ brand to stand for,’€ said team owner Robert Kraft. ‘€œI want to thank Tedy for being the consummate Patriot.’€

Over the course of his career, he was a part of nine playoff seasons, eight division championships, five conference titles and three Super Bowl titles.

He suffered a stroke 10 days after New England’€™s win in Super Bowl XXXIX. After a lengthy rehab, he returned to play in the final nine games of the 2005 season, and was named The AP Comeback Player of the Year.

Calling him ‘€œthe epitome of everything you want in a football player,’€ Belichick was emotional in his recollections of Bruschi.

‘€œHe always did the right thing,’€ Belichick said of Bruschi. ‘€œWhatever was the right thing at that moment, it always seemed like he hit it right on the head.

‘€œIf you ask me to sum it up how I feel about Tedy Bruschi in five seconds,’€ Belichick said. ‘€œHe’€™s the perfect player. He’€™s the perfect player.’€

‘€œHe’€™s helped create a tradition here we are all proud of.’€

Bruschi thanked his wife, Kraft, Belichick and the fans. He was particularly effusive in his praise of Belichick, saying the coach taught him how to be a champion.

‘€œI didn’€™t know how to win until Bill came here,’€ Bruschi said.

Read More: retire, Tedy Bruschi,

Setting the scene

08.31.09 at 10:40 am ET
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FOXBOROUGH — We are here at Gillette Stadium, waiting for the Tedy Bruschi press conference to begin. There’s already a sizable media presence in the house — news reporters from around New England are here, as well as representatives from ESPN. The Patriots have already hung several pictures of Bruschi around the media workroom. Two of his No. 54 jersey’s flank the stage, and behind the podium, they are flashing slides of Bruschi throughout the years. From what we can gather, Bruschi will address the media at 10:45 — coach Bill Belichick will also speak. After the press conference, we’ll also have updates and reaction from the Patriots locker room. Keep checking back throughout the day for updates.

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