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New England Patriots Links 8/04/11 - Patriots Veteran Free Agents Can Practice Today

Ian Rapoport notes Matt Light's beard needs work, but there's no question every other part of him is ready to go.

"There’s not been a time in my life when I’ve been more ready to play the game of football," Light said yesterday in his first comments since finalizing a two-year deal.

"There’s always doubt," Light said. "Unfortunately it’s a business, and throughout the whole process, we were hopeful that this would be the outcome. We’ve been sitting around waiting for this moment, and for me and my family, we’re real excited to be back here in New England."

"At the end of the day," Light said, "we’re back here where we belong. . . . I shared with the Kraft family what it meant for me to be a part of this over the last decade. I’m just happy to be a part of it for another year . . . or two."

"Hey, competition’s the name of the game," Light said. "There’s always going to be guys pushing everybody at every level when you have a coach like Bill (Belichick) and the rest of the staff. It drives all of us. Drafting a guy that’s coming to fill in for these old bones, it was inevitable. Hopefully we’ll have some fun teaching him a thing or two."

DJ Bean notes Devin McCourty wants to get better, but wonders how much better can he get?

"You either get better or you get worse," McCourty said Wednesday. "Right now we’re trying to make sure each day we get better. Sometimes you can’t get as good as you want to get, but we have to always be moving forward."

Leigh Steinberg (Nat'l Football Post) Heroes of the CBA. Touching tribute to Robert Kraft.

In the midst of suffering the greatest grief of his life, both sides called on him to bridge the end of the deal. His calm, soothing manner, astute business judgment, and sense of humor proved the perfect balm in the last days of the deal. The players inherently trusted him and he was necessary to insure that the last minute conflicts didn't derail the deal. He compartmentalized his incredible sorrow and was able to play a critical role in helping to save the sport he loved. What an amazing testimony to courage and character Robert Kraft's behavior was this past week. He defines greatness.