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First day back for Ty Warren

06.15.10 at 11:23 pm ET
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Ty Warren. (AP)

FOXBORO — Tuesday marked the first day this spring we’ve seen veteran defensive lineman Ty Warren on the practice field. Warren’s been working on getting his degree from Texas A&M, and decided to take a pass on a sizable workout bonus in favor of returning to the classroom.

“It wasn’t tough,” Warren said of the decision Tuesday afternoon. “I’ve said it before. It was a sacrifice I made. Not only did I sacrifice from being up here. I sacrificed a lot of hobbies that I like to do in the offseason. Not a bad decision at all.”

Nearly a decade after he entered college, the 29-year-old Warren said the inside of the classroom looked a lot sweeter the second time around.

“I think I appreciate it a whole lot more,” he said. “I don’t think I made anything less than an A since I went back. A guy was telling me it’s different between when you want to go and when you have to go.

“In this case — not that I didn’t want to go then — but he also said, at 18, 19 years old going to college, sometimes you take classes and you’re like, ‘How can I apply this to life? Where is this relevant in life?’ Now, I feel like being in the business for a little bit, going back to school is relevant now and a little easier. It’s definitely different, being that I want to go.”

With the playoff successes enjoyed by the Patriots since Warren was taken in the first round of the 2003 draft, he said the first real opportunity to return to try and get his degree was this past offseason. That, combined with the looming labor uncertainty, sparked his decision to go back.

“If a lockout was to happen, I’m not the type of person to sit out, sit back and go on 10 vacations if I’m not playing football. I’m the type of person [who will] work regardless. I’ve had the opportunity to go back to A&M to do some things.

“My thing is this: I’ve had offers to do things, but I don’t want to just go work just because I’m a Super Bowl champion, New England Patriot, former A&M Aggie. I want to have credentials when I go in there. I’m the type of player, I want to earn what I got. You know what I’m saying? I don’t want to be there and be working just because. If a lockout was to happen, I have my degree and be working with my credentials doing what I like to do. That’s why now.”

Warren, who said he is now 11 hours from finishing his degree (something he’ll do next spring), said his move had the support of his teammates.

“A lot of my teammates, I think it opened a lot of their eyes,” Warren said. “I’ve got a lot of them saying, ‘Man, I need to go back and finish mine up, too.’ I’ve had a lot of support.”

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