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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Seau to help Patriots' linebacker corps

Linebacker Junior Seau, whose return to the New England Patriots has been long anticipated, made it official Wednesday.

Seau, who has been shooting episodes for his show, "Sports Jobs with Junior Seau," on Versus, will provide depth and leadership at linebacker, where the Patriots have had a run of injuries. Versus, which announced Seau's return to the Patriots in a news release Tuesday, said the show will debut Dec. 2, as planned.

The Patriots did not send out an official statement until Wednesday morning.

The 40-year-old Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl player, came out of retirement last year to play the final four games with the Patriots after playing 27 games with them in 2006 and 2007. He said this fall that he would be willing to return to play, but only for New England.

Seau didn't know his role or what exactly he can offer the team. All he knows is Bill Belichick made a call and Seau promised he'd answer.

"On and off the field, the best thing I can do is lean on Bill Belichick," Seau said at a press conference Wednesday. "The reason why I say that is, he doesn't sit around grabbing a 40-year-old guy off a surfboard unless he has a plan. Whatever it may be. He knows who I am. He knows what I have to offer. I trust him. What am I going to do? How will I help the team? I can't forecast that. If I could, I wouldn't be a football player. I wouldn't. Just give me a helmet. I'm going to be the best player that I can be today. I promise."

Wearing his familiar No. 55, Seau participated in position drills viewed by the media during Wednesday afternoon's session outside Gillette Stadium. He worked up a sweat early and, despite temperatures in the mid-40s, doused himself with a water bottle just minutes into the session.

He likely will make his season debut Sunday at home against the Tennessee Titans, ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported last week. The Patriots released defensive lineman Terdell Sands to accommodate Seau on their 53-man roster.

"I'm very fortunate and honored to be involved with two class organizations -- the New England Patriots and Versus," Seau said in the Versus statement. "I want to thank the management of both for making my return to the NFL with the New England Patriots a reality."

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