"Hello," came the enthusiastic, smiling greeting of Junior SeauFriday morning, his first day back in Foxborough as a member of the New England Patriots.
Just two days after signing another old familiar face at linebacker, Rosevelt Colvin, the Patriots turned to the nearly 40-year old Seau to provide some much-needed depth at the linebacker position, which has been hit hard by injuries this season.
"What it took was a coach [Bill Belichick] that you respect made a call to come out and help out guys that you have a lot of love for," Seau said in response to a question about why he chose to return.
"It wasn't a hard decision," he added.
With so little time to get back in the swing of things and prepare for the Seahawks (the Pats fly out to Seattle late Friday), Seau told reporters he was "cramming" for whatever role or roles he might be asked to perform this weekend and in the coming weeks.
"We're in the grind," he continued. "It's the month of December, when football really stands out. This is when great football needs to be played."
Seau and the Patriots are hoping he can help them do that for the remainder of the season.
Warren among walking wounded
Defensive lineman Ty Warren, who missed the last game and has been absent from practice all week with a groin injury, indicated that he'd "turned the corner."
"It's 50-50 whether I'm out there [this Sunday]," he said Friday. "It's a legitimate possibility that I could [play against Seattle]."
Without getting into specifics, Warren revealed that his injury is of the kind that would linger, as he put it, for the remainder of the season.
Before flying out for the West Coast, where the Patriots will stay for the next 10 days for back-to-back games, the team held another practice outside on their grass fields behind Gillette Stadium.
Seau was wearing his familiar number 55 jersey. To make room for him on the active roster, the Patriots placed linebacker Adalius Thomason injured reserve, thus ending his season.
Four players, including Warren, were absent from the start of practice. They were the same group who'd missed time all this week: WR Kelley Washingtonand LBs Pierre Woodsand Vince Redd.