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Defensive end Will Smith eager for fresh start with Patriots

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New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady carries the ball during NFL football training camp in Foxborough, Mass., Saturday, July 26, 2014. (AP Photo) (The Associated Press)

After missing last season with a knee injury, Will Smith is thrilled to be back on the field.

Now, the 33-year-old defensive end has a job to win.

"It feels good," Smith said Saturday, after the first training camp day in full pads. "It's been awhile, so I'm excited to just be out there, running around, with shoulder pads, going through regular drills — so it feels real good.

"It's something I hadn't done for a long time, almost a year; playing football in full gear, going out there hitting people and tackling and stuff like that. It feels good to be back at it."

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