Kelly 'happy to come to work' for Patriots

Kelly 'happy to come to work' for Patriots
September 5, 2013, 3:15 pm
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FOXBORO -- At the beginning of training camp, newly-signed veteran defensive lineman Tommy Kelly called his change of scenery a "golden opportunity."

After all, he was used to not making the playoffs in nine seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Before arriving in New England, Oakland was all Kelly knew.

Now, just days away from his first regular season game with the Patriots, Kelly once again expressed his excitement to be with the Patriots.

"It makes me a little more happy to come to work every day," said Kelly after Thursday's practice. "It makes it a little more easy to put the work in every day, when you know we've got a real good chance of winning."

The Patriots have just that, especially if Kelly can be the expected force next to Vince Wilfork for an entire season.

And Kelly is used to playing entire seasons. In his nine-year career entering 2013, the 6-foot-6 300-plus pound lineman has played in all 16 regular-season games seven times. He played 10 games during his rookie year in 2004, and played only seven games in 2007.

But getting to the playoffs, and playing more than 16 games a year is his goal, something he never had a realistic chance of doing with the Raiders.

"We aren't going into the game thinking, 'Okay, we've got to play lights out and we need the other team to mess up,'" said Kelly when comparing New England to Oakland.

Kelly knows he's part of a team that now has a chance to contend. And that makes him happy, happier than he's been in the past.

"When you're in a situation like [Oakland], it kind of drains on you," said Kelly. "But, in my situation right here [in New England], it's kind of like, I'm really happy to come to work. So I ain't really tripping. I'm very happy."