Ihedigbo living 'childhood dream' as Patriot

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Ihedigbo living 'childhood dream' as Patriot

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com Staff Reporter Follow @mary_paoletti

FOXBORO -- James Ihedigbo hopes Patriots fans welcome him, a former Jet, with open arms.

Here, he's home and he couldn't be happier.

"It's exciting," Ihedigbo said after Saturday's practice, his first with New England.

"It's a childhood dream to come back and play for the same team you grew up watching. I'm just excited for the opportunity. ...I was born and raised a Pats fan. I watched the games when I was in high school, at the old Foxboro Stadium, and said 'one day I'm going to be playing here.' Lo and behold, here I am."

Of course, his days in New England at Amherset Regional High School and UMass give him no advantage at Gillette; he's on foreign ground as much as, say, new Patriot Shaun Ellis. The fact the two played together with the Jets -- that there's a familiar face already under Belichick's reign -- is comforting to Ihedigbo.

"He's a great guy, great teammate," Ihedigbo said of Ellis. "Kind of mentor for me at the old place I was playing at, and he's been the same way here. He's a good friend."

Ihedigbo joined New York as an undrafted free agent in 2007. He had three sacks as a backup in the secondary and 27 special teams tackles last season. The Patriots will be happy for the help. Despite this weekend's return of safety James Sanders, there's little depth at the position. Behind Patrick Chung, Brandon Meriweather's consistency is suspect and Sergio Brown's is unproven.

What will New England get from Ihedigbo? Belichick gave no definitive answer.

"He's played defense, hes played safety, hes played there for the Jets he played some of the nickel and dime type responsibilities on defense, and he's been good in the kicking game. Well see what he can do."

Unsurprisingly, Ihedigbo says he's prepared to do whatever he needs to. There are certain fundamentals he has confidence about that transcend positioning.

"Wherever they need me to play, I'm just going to go out and bring my intensity, my energy," he said. "The way this game is designed to be played is to be fast and physical... being able to get off blocks, get to the ball. I want to bring whatever I can to help this team."

To give fans a better reference point for style: "I definitely model my game after Rodney Harrison," Ihedigbo said. "Physical player, knew what he was supposed to do at all times, was a leader, and played the game very physically."

Mary Paoletti can be reached at mpaoletti@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Mary on Twitter at http:twitter.comMary_Paoletti

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Patriots release camp dates; open practices begin July 27

Football is coming.

The Patriots announced on Thursday that veterans will report to training camp on Wednesday, July 26 and that the first public practice will take place the following day.

Each of the team's first four practices -- from July 27-30 -- are scheduled to take place on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium "in the nine o'clock hour," according to the Patriots. Updates to the training camp schedule, including more specific start times for practices, can be found at patriots.com/trainingcamp.

The Patriots Hall of Fame will hold its induction ceremony for former corner Raymond Clayborn on Saturday, July 29 around midday following that morning's training camp practice. Held on the plaza outside the Hall at Patriot Place, the ceremony will be free and open to the public.

The Patriots will host the Jaguars for two days of joint practices open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 and Tuesday, Aug. 8. The preseason opener for both clubs will take place at Gillette Stadium on Aug. 10.

Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

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Tom Brady adds sumo wrestling to offseason training regimen

Tom Brady's off-the-field workout habits are the subject of serious curiosity for those in New England and beyond. Thanks to Under Armour's Instagram account, followers got a brief glimpse of what Brady does to stay in shape. 

OK. It was more like a glimpse at what he did one day in Tokyo.

@tombrady always fighting for that extra yard. 😂😂 #TBAsiaTour #IWILL

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The video of Brady in the dohyo ring was shot at the Sakaigawa sumo stable in Tokyo on Thursday. According to Kyodo News, leading the training session was ozeki Goeido, who won last year's Autumn Grand Sumo Tournament.

"For them to welcome me means very much to me. It's hard to describe in words how special that was," Brady said.

Brady bounced around China before heading to Japan to continue to help promote Under Armour and in particular its "recovery sleepwear" line. He threw a pass on the Great Wall, and he explained that it was his "dream" to play a game on the continent. 

Arigatōgozaimashita 🇯🇵🙏

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Brady vs Brady #therecanonlybeone 🏆

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