By: Kevin Rousseau - Kevin's Articles are Sponsored by
August 13, 2009

NFL notes: Don't be surprised if Deatrich Wise Jr., Derek Rivers rise up for Patriots
New Patriots DL Danny Shelton preps to hit the hill
Patriots center David Andrews excited with his new Georgia Bulldog teammates
Patriots notebook: Patriots hold bonding time at Children’s Hospital
Guregian: Patriots Hall of Famer Matt Light says there’s more to being a successful offensive lineman than the measurables

Tom Brady isn't the only one who's back.

After being away from the column since the draft in April, I'm back as well. Glad to be here for my eighth year of writing for I have no idea where the time has gone since that first column in August 2002. I keep coming back because it's still a blast to cook up a column from scratch while being a unique part of Patriot Nation.

I just got back from my initial three-week indoctrination with the Coast Guard Reserve and am acclimating back to civilian life. Obviously, this is a huge lifestyle change but it has been a very rewarding and reflective experience. Besides, it's providing a good mid-career B-12 shot of energy.

Such a life change and new focus provides some interesting perspective on other matters of importance in your life—such as the Patriots for example. Usually, a Patriots pre-season game is at best like a Chinese lunchtime buffet. It's a lot of fun for about 15 or 20 minutes and then it goes downhill quickly. Honestly, only one pre-season Patriots game sticks out in my head after all these years. There was a game against the Panthers in 2004 in the season after Super Bowl XXXVIII that resemble a street fight for the first half before Bill Belichick wisely called off the dogs. Really, that's the only one that sticks out.

Until tonight.

Seeing The Franchise back in Patriot blue and looking like his old self was a welcome sight to these eyes and millions more who follow the team. He looked confident, decisive and focused. Perhaps the best sign that it is now safe to buy that 1963 #12 throwback jersey for opening night is that Brady was his old fiery self-critical self after underthrowing a deep bomb to Randy Moss that went for an interception.

Unlike past pre-seasons, we saw what we came for and look forward to the next game to see if Brady and his teammates can build on Thursday night's performance when they go up against Cincinnati. It still doesn't make being forced to pay $117 for an exhibition ticket any easier but at least it's a peck on the cheek after an expensive first date.

In other news, the early favorite for the annual Michael Bishop Pre-Season MVP Award is rookie seventh-round wide receiver Julian Edelman who looked like a clone of Wes Welker catching passes out of the slot and then returning a punt for a touchdown. The only other thing that stood out was the young defensive backs (Butler, Chung, Wheatley and Wilhite) who show that they have some speed and made some decent open-field tackles.

Being able to sit down and watch a game on my own time was a treat. Yes, even a pre-season game. The cherry on top was seeing that everything looks great on the #12 sundae special.