FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Offering some leftover soundbites from Dan Koppen's gathering with reporters on Thursday afternoon:
New IR rule: The NFL will implement an exemption this season allowing players who were injured after the beginning of training camp to return after eight weeks on injured reserve. Koppen missed the entire season last year after suffering a broken leg in the opener, and may have been ready to play by season's end. On whether the rule came one year too late, Koppen said: "Yeah, probably, but it is what it is. Last year there were the rules that there were. Things change in this league, for better and for worse. And you just live by the rules you play by."
Dealing with Light retirement: After nine seasons playing alongside Matt Light, who recently retired, Koppen is rolling with the changes. "I've been in the league a long time and a lot of guys in that locker room have been also. We play with the guys out on the field; whether they retire, go to another team, get hurt, doesn't matter, you have to play with the guys you got and build something around that," he said.
On staying in New England: Koppen stayed on the unrestricted free-agent market for nearly a month this offseason, and took a visit to the Titans before choosing to re-sign in New England. "It's great. I didn't want to go anywhere else. Thank goodness it did work out. It would have been probably more of a pain moving the family and getting that stuff squared away. To be able to play here, hopefully for a little bit more, in my career, it's a good feeling. This is where I want to be. This is what I know. Just excited to play this year," he said. "It's just about coming in and just working hard every day and letting everything grow."
On watching his team play from home last season: "It's tough. It makes you appreciate things a lot more. Especially sitting around watching ... you put everything into the offseason. Just to sit around and watch, it makes you have greater appreciation for your job and being around the guys and going out there and playing for one another. It's good to be back," he said.