|McKenzie hits home with fans||07.30.10 at 1:43 pm ET|
FOXBORO — On the day Tom Brady was mobbed by the media about his future with the Patriots and whether his contract talks would be a distraction for the quarterback, it was an unheralded linebacker who made the biggest noise – literally.
Head coach Bill Belichick yelled at his offensive and defensive units to run a goal line play “full speed.” Apparently, Tyrone McKenzie heard the coach loud and clear.
After missing all of his rookie 2009 season with a torn ACL in his right knee just weeks after getting drafted, McKenzie, an inside linebacker, made quite the impact on Friday at Patriots training camp when he stuffed Laurence Maroney on a goal line situation, knocking the veteran running back squarely back at the goal line and keeping him out of the end zone.
The loud bang made such a sound that it drew oohs and ahhs from the over 7,000 in attendance on the practice field just outside the south end of Gillette Stadium.
“My body is getting used to hitting again,” McKenzie said. “I think it’s just natural. I’ve been playing football since I was nine.”
He, however, was humble in talking about it after practice.
“I have no idea,” McKenzie said. “I’m just going to come out here everyday and try to work hard. You sit there and try to get a big hit and then mess up on something else. That was just one play. You have to be consistent on what you do every day and that’s all I’m trying to do right now.”
Asked if it felt good, one year after blowing out his right knee in a collision with a running back in camp, McKenzie was again modest.
“It feels good just to be out here,” McKenzie said. “That was just one play, that’s all.”
Though an inside linebacker, McKenzie might be getting an extra look-see this summer with the uncertainty and possible retirement of Derrick Burgess.
“I don’t even know anything about it,” McKenzie added. “I just try to work hard with the guys I’m out here. All that other stuff, we’re all going to have to go through it sooner or later. That’s not my concern.”
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