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Seems like old times for Bruschi

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – New England linebacker Tedy Bruschi charged at Tom Brady as the quarterback threw a pass.

Later, the former University of Arizona linebacker gave rookie Laurence Maroney a light shove in the back after an incomplete pass to the running back.

Just like old times, Bruschi was back in the middle of the action Wednesday – a year after missing the 2005 minicamp while recovering from a stroke.

“The offseason workouts have gone great for me so far,” said Bruschi, who is entering his 11th NFL season. “I participated in virtually every one and I look forward to . . . being ready for training camp” in July.

Bruschi shared The Associated Press comeback player of the year award with wide receiver Steve Smith of Carolina, despite missing the first six regular-season games in 2005.

The Patriots’ minicamp ends today, and Bruschi’s leadership is critical, especially after the Patriots lost linebacker Willie McGinest as a free agent to Cleveland. The Patriots were 3-3 by the time he returned last season and went 7-2 with him before he missed the last regular season game with a calf injury, an improvement that impressed starting cornerback Ellis Hobbs, a rookie last season.

“When he wasn’t out there we had a lot of mix-ups, just not a lot of order,” Hobbs said. “But when he comes he kind of ceases all the chaos. He knows how to get everybody in line and he just has a controlling voice out there. You know when you’re hearing his voice; it’s very demanding, but calm and in control.”

Bruschi’s voice is back, as strong as ever, 16 months after he was hospitalized for blurry vision and numbness in his left arm and left leg.

“I always judge myself by how I’m doing in the offseason workouts, and I’m doing great,” Bruschi said. “I just turned 33 (Friday), and I’m keeping an eye on myself to see if I’m getting old or not. I’m still feeling good.”

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