New England Patriots Links 5/19/10 - Springs Released, Larsen Signed, Specter Finished, McKenzie Ready

6th-rounder OL C/G Ted Larsen is the first rookie drafted to sign a contract with the Patriots.

Albert Breer reports 2nd-year LB Tyrone McKenzie is ready to go after an ACL tear cost him his rookie year.

"Right after it happened I was like, 'I made it here, I'm excited to play, excited to learn after the Combine and all that other stuff and this happens'," he said this morning at the stadium. "It's huge but it helps you get stronger and to the point where I am now. You just have to be strong and keep bouncing back. "That's what I've done my entire life. Now I'm just excited to play."

"Nothing is mandatory," he said [when asked if he was required to rehab in Foxboro]. "They can encourage what they want. They wanted me to be around for the surgery and so forth. I decided to stay up here. Me going away, I'm not going to learn anything. I could have took my playbook, and tried to learn as much as I can, but there's no coach around for me to ask questions. The coaches are busy throughout the season. So every chance you have to grab them, when you're in the linebacker meeting room, that's your chance to ask a question real quick, and so it was best for me to stay up here."

"I sat in on all the meetings. I learned everything that I could. That was the goal, learn everything I could. And when they went to go practice, I did my rehab."

Chris Gasper writes CB Shawn Springs said he and Belichick parted ways in amicable fashion with a handshake and that he wouldn't rule out a return to Foxborough.

"It didn't go bad at all," said Springs of his release meeting with Belichick. "I could see myself working for Bill. I have a lot of respect for Bill. It wasn't bad at all. It's almost like he cut me, and he wants to see what he's got without distractions. He wants to give them a shot. It's hard to give them a shot when you have the presence of a guy like me around. He's going to give you all the chances not to mess it up. It helps your psyche. You don't have to compete. Just do your job.

"Now, you don't have to worry about the pressure of guys competing with me and messing up your confidence as a young guy, feeling like, 'How am I going to compete with this guy?' "

"I would come back to New England. I wish them the best. I'm going to miss those guys."

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