New England Patriots Links 7/27/11 - The Boys Are Back In Town

Ian Rapoport notes Patrick Chung was at the stadium Tuesday when the doors officially opened at 10 a.m.

"Let’s get ready to go, man," Chung said. "I’m happy to be back. I miss the fans, I miss you guys, even though you guys give us a hard time sometimes. But I’m glad to be back, man. Glad to be back, all my family guys are here."

"Everybody was happy [to be back]," Chung said. "I feel like I haven’t seen my brothers in a while. It’s hard to not be able to communicate with the guys you’re playing with, the guys that are taking care of their body, teaching you the playbook. It’s hard not to have that communication and now it’s back, it’s like we never missed a beat."

"I wasn’t away from the game," he said. "I was definitely working, we were definitely working, a bunch of guys were working out, but I’ve been away from my teammates, I’ve never been in a lockout now. It’s over now and we’re ready to go."

Ian Rapoport notes Wes Welker never felt like he left football.

"A few weeks ago, I flew out to LA to work with Tom (Brady) and it was nice to get out there," Patriots WR Wes Welker said while meeting with media members a few minutes ago. "Throw the ball around, kinda get back in the groove a little bit. It kinda gets you excited about the year and wants you to get out there. But it’s definitely one of those deals where, you knew it was going to happen, but you really didn’t know… you’re happy it’s here and are really looking forward to it."

"It’s great to have it back," Welker said. "At this time of year, money starts running low and everything like that, so it’s nice to start getting paychecks again. We’re excited. It’s good to have football back. I know everybody is excited. The fans are excited, and the players are just as excited. We’re ready to get out there and play. We haven’t had OTAs or anything like that, but there shouldn’t be any excuses about guys not being fresh and ready to go. We should be out there having a good camp and some good games coming up in September."

Mike Reiss reports Frank Bauer had this to say on Logan Mankins accepting the Patriots' franchise tag:

"Early this morning, Logan spoke with Bill [Belichick] and both are very happy, happy to get started. Logan is looking forward to being with his teammates and coaches, with a fresh start."

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