By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - The day after agreeing to a two-year contract extension, Matt Light said he'd never been more anxious to get on a football field.
And then more than a week passed before he got there.
Saturday, he was finally back practicing with the Patriots. Thanks to off-season shoulder surgery, he was not quite full-go and rookie Nate Solder took most of the first-team reps but Light was ecstatic to be out there.
"This process was the right way to do it," said Light. "Ive had shoulder injuries in the past and the protocol is the same every time. You want to feel how it goes. You want to do some drills without the when youre hitting a live body, its a whole lot different than hitting a bag, so its better to break in easy than blow something up on day one. Weve got a little bit of time here and like I said, hopefully sooner than later I can get out there and do the full deal."
The timetable for a full return? Unclear.
"Im just trying to make sure I can go out there and get as much done without actually going through a lot of the physical end of this," said Light. "Unfortunately, I cant just jump back into it given what surgery I had in the offseason, so right now a lot of its mental. Im trying to keep the physical side of it going to what extent I can and hopefully be out there full tilt sooner than later."
One of the Patriots media rules is "talk about only yourself." So we'll take Light's tempered appraisal of Solder with that in mind.
"Nates a big guy, hes physically gifted and hard to get around just due to his size," Light offered. "I think he has shown really good footwork. He came in and he knew the system, he knew the offense, hes a smart guy, so I think he played pretty well. Again, its not my job to rate him, but at the end of the day hes hanging pretty well with that first group."
The process of drafting Solder. Light revealed (jokingly) that he and Bill Belichick operated on a higher plane when figuring out Light's role going forward.
"Most of it was transcendental meditation," said Light. "I cant really get into a whole lot of that, but it was pretty deep."
Light did explain eventually that he and Belichick did speak about it. But he didn't get specific.
"You go through a process and that time in any guys career is one that youve got to make some serious decisions, and youve got to understand both sides expectations," Light said. "Bill has always been straightforward; he kind of says it like it is and doesnt hold anything back. I know what his expectations are of me and vice versa, so were all good."