FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Veteran linebacker Junior Seau was on the field for approximately 23 snaps in his first game back with the Patriots, with most of his playing time coming in the second half.
Smiling in the locker room after the Patriots' 59-0 victory over the Titans, the 40-year-old Seau was asked if returning to the football field was like riding a bicycle.
"More like a beach cruiser," he chuckled.
Seau finished with two tackles and a fumble recovery, with the Gillette Stadium crowd roaring the first time his name was announced. He called it a "great home welcome."
Seau's presence allowed the Patriots to run more 3-4 alignments. He was the top backup to Jerod Mayo and Gary Guyton at inside linebacker, helping hold the Titans to minus-7 gross passing yards, which marked the first time since the AFL-NFL merger than an offense was held to negative gross passing yards.
Coach Bill Belichick said Seau gave the Patriots a spark immediately after signing his one-year contract Wednesday.
"He came out to practice this week and he's running around, making calls, chasing after the ball, flying around like a rookie," Belichick said. "That's just Junior. He's got great passion for the game and a lot of energy when he steps out there. He's a football player. It doesn't matter if it's first down, second down, third down, practice, regular-season game, snow, 90 degrees. He just tears around out there and he loves the game. I think he brought a good level of energy and enthusiasm to our team this week."
Seau hopes to build on his performance as he's playing catch-up with his teammates.
"This was my training camp," he said. "What I did the last eight months was basically training for the chance, and the chance was if Bill [Belichick] ever called. You're never going to be able to be in football shape, but what you can do is get to a point where you're conditioned mentally and physically. Emotionally, you know, it's going to come. Today was a good start."