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Lawrence Guy and Kony Ealy Conference Call Transcripts 3/16
DEFENSIVE LINEMAN, LAWRENCE GUY
Q: Why do you feel that New England is a good fit for you at this point in your career?
LG: Well, you know, it's a really good team. They have a great owner, Mr. [Robert] Kraft, and a great coach in Bill Belichick, so it's one of those opportunities that got put in front of me and you can't really pass up an opportunity to play for the Patriots. It's a great organization and I look to continue my career here in New England.
Q: Since you signed last week the team has traded for fellow defensive player Kony Ealy and resigned linebacker Dont'a Hightower. What will it be like to play with players of their skill level?
LG: Well, you know, they're really good players. When you get the opportunity to play next to really good players it's pretty much [like] you're grateful. Like I said, Coach [Bill] Belichick knows how to put the right players in the right system, so I'm grateful that I get to play next to them and I get to enjoy this next football season with them as my teammates.
Q: Have some of the exciting things you have going on outside of football made this experience of signing with a new team even more special?
LG: Yeah, it's a great part of my life. I'm welcoming a baby girl in three months. Getting picked up by New England for the next four years, it's actually pretty exciting. Me and my wife were really thrilled when we found out the news. She's pretty happy that I get to play with such a great organization. We're getting ready to settle down and get this season going.
Q: How would you sum up this exciting time of getting prepared to welcome a daughter to the world along with having a new contract with the Patriots?
LG: It's a memorable time. It's a time I'll remember for a very long time. It's very special to me and my wife, so I'm happy that I can tell my child when they get a little bit older for them to understand about the journey I have - 'I came up and three months before you were born this was the opportunity I had.' It's something you can cherish.
Q: What would you say your strengths as a player are?
LG: My strengths as a player - I'm a hard worker. That's one thing I've prided myself on, is doing everything that I can for the team and for my fellow teammates. I'm accountable. I want the person playing next to me, behind me, to count on me if they know that I need to be there, I'm going to be there. If I know they're going to be there, they can trust that I'm understanding the game. I'm understanding how everybody plays. It's one of those things that I pride myself in, is I'm going to go out there and you're going to know every single play I'm going to give it my best, and every single play there's no doubt that you're going to look at me like, 'OK, he's a good player and I see he wants to go out there and play some football.'
Q: How have you viewed the Patriots organization from afar throughout your time in the league?
LG: They're a great organization; no doubt. With Coach [Bill] Belichick, he put together a great organization, a good team, with Mr. [Robert] Kraft putting a great organization together, so you look at certain teams and you say 'Look at this organization that prides itself on who they are and they treat their players really well,' and that's how I always looked at the Patriots, like they treat their players well and they pride themselves on who they are and you can see it on the field or you can see it in the media how they present themselves. I looked at them as a great organization and I'm glad I can be a part of it.
Q: Is playing on the interior part of the defensive line something you've done in the past or something you feel comfortable doing?
LG: Yes, I've played every position, even though I've played nose-three, I've played the end, I've played outside the tight end, so I'm very versatile to the positon that I can play on the field. Through my career I've been down the whole line and that made me who I am today. I was able to play outside then play inside. If I needed to go back outside or go back inside, it all depends on how the system needs me to play and I'm able to adjust to it. If you look at my time in Baltimore, all our [defensive] lineman, we all switched around different positions. So due to that and due to the coaching under Clarence Brooks, he made sure we could play every single position that we needed to play. He built me into a well-rounded player.
Q: How important was it for you to sign with a perennial contender like the Patriots to have the chance to compete for a Lombardi Trophy?
LG: Right now I'm not really looking at competing for the ultimate prize. Right now I'm looking at what's about to come on in OTA's and offseason workouts. We take it day by day and when that time comes, it comes. But as of right now, I'm just looking forward to the offseason program to truly introduce myself to the coaches for them to get my personality, to get their personality, and to get around my teammates and enjoy the season and enjoy the offseason coming up.
Q: How important was it playing under a coach like Dean Pees who of course has some familiarity with the Patriots organization from his past as well?
LG: I've been around the league a couple of times. This is my fifth team, so adjusting was just something I had to get used to after my third team. When you go to a new organization, you really just want to get the faces of everybody around the building - your equipment staff, your training staff, your chefs - everybody that could contribute behind the scenes to pretty much what you need to get to understand and know really well. Doing that, I've actually found it very easy to get to a new team because once you go in there with a friendly face and open mind, everybody seems to just follow and starts liking you, so it's really simple to me now. With Dean Pees, he holds himself to a stature. He came from New England. He tells stories about how he enjoyed it there, so this is my opportunity to see what he has told me already, what he's communicated through our meetings when I was in Baltimore, how it was there. Like I said, I'm glad I get the opportunity to experience it firsthand.
Q: Due to the intense rivalry between the Baltimore Ravens and the Patriots over the years, did you ever think it would be possible to end up joining the Patriots?
LG: I never thought it was possible for me to join the Patriots. When I heard about the opportunity I was blessed. I was like 'I can't believe I get to join this great organization.' With the rivalry, when you play a team so much and it's such a consistent battle, in reality when it's a rivalry game you're going to give it your all meaning blood, sweat and tears. You're going to fight, you're going to cuss, and you're going to play your hardest and once you give it all out on those teams, you're hoping they have a sign of respect for you like you have a sign of respect for the players on that team for how much you're going to play and how much you're going to give it your all in the game. I'm actually glad to look at a team that I know I enjoyed playing every single year I got the opportunity to play; I just had a ball in the game. To get the opportunity to play with the team, that just brings out more emotions of 'Hey, I'm ready to go. You saw how I played against you guys. This is how I'm going to play with you guys.' So I'm really excited and waiting for this offseason workout to get together so I can meet my teammates, get a better relationship with my coach and continue to build on from there and just have a great time. Read
DEFENSIVE END, KONY EALY
Q: What was your reaction to being traded to New England and what kind of opportunity is this for you to show off your pass-rushing skills early in your career?
KE: Well first of all, I would just like to thank New England and the whole front office for choosing me to come - allowing me to come and learn from the greats, learning how to take my game and bring it to the next level. [I'm] just coming in and trying to help contribute to another winning season.
Q: Why do you think your game might be a good fit for the way Bill Belichick uses pass rushers, especially from the edge?
KE: Coach [Bill] Belichick is a great coach and he has a way of finding talent, so obviously he saw something that I put on film that obviously can help the team, contribute to the team, to help them get another winning season. I just look forward to just coming in, working hard, just doing my job and trying to help contribute. That's all.
Q: When you were coming out of the Draft in 2014, did you think New England might be a spot where you would end up?
KE: Oh definitely. I liked their whole scheme as far as how they just let their defense go get after the ball. They're an aggressive team but also, they're a smart team. Obviously, I didn't know where I was going to go in the Draft, but if I went to the Patriots, obviously that's a great organization to be a part of.
Q: How does your sister Sierra, who battles a debilitating chromosome disorder, inspire you as a player and a person?
KE: I just love the game of football, but on a bigger note, dealing with my sister, this just gives me a better way of helping her have a normal life. I love my sister dearly, and everything I do is for her and my daughter now. Really, I just want to concentrate on doing my job and making the most of it.
Q: Did you have any idea that you were going to get traded this offseason?
KE: No, but you know, this a business, so you've got to be prepared for anything. I've been prepared my whole life for just different outcomes and obstacles to try to get up or down, so it's just another part of life. You've just got to take the opportunities and make the most of them.
Q: When you get traded as such a young player, can that create extra motivation?
KE: Everything else will take care of itself if I go out there and do what I'm supposed to do and just do my job. I'm not going to put any extra hype on it; anything more than just going out there and just proving myself on the gridiron.
Q: Do you feel like you have to prove that you're the guy who had and unbelievable performance in Super Bowl 50, as many people know you for? What kind of standards are you holding for yourself as you make this move in your career?
KE: The standards I hold for myself are to come in and impress the team by doing my job and showing that I'm a consistent worker, getting better each and every day. I'm not too much concerned about the game I had two years ago or how last week went. It's all about moving forward and getting better, and that's what I'm looking forward to doing.
Q: In what ways do you think going up against Tom Brady on a daily basis can help you flourish as a defensive player?
KE: Other than [Tom Brady] being a Hall of Fame quarterback, which he is, he's also a great guy. Just kind of really developing off the field, just conversations when you meet different types of people, you learn a lot. Hopefully I get to gain some of that from him and other teammates as well just by [having] nice conversations. On the field, he's a smart quarterback. He sees things that sometimes it takes a half for other people to see, and that's why he's so successful. Just trying to match his intensity - I know he's a hard worker - but trying to match his intensity like it's game day. That's going to be big for me.
Q: Do you have any relationships with other members of the Patriots who can help you make the adjustment here?
KE: I know Trey Flowers. We came out the same year. He's a really hard worker. There's always enough to say about that guy. I know that for sure. Just pretty much everybody else, of what I see when I watch the games and I watch film, their team speaks highly of the owner, the head coach, Coach [Bill] Belichick. It's just a well-driven team and that's what I want to be a part of.
Q: What was your initial conversation with Coach Bill Belichick like after you were acquired?
KE: I mean, he just said, 'Welcome to the Patriots organization,' happy that I'm a part of it, and all I've got to do is just come in and just work hard. That's really what the conversation was about.
Q: Were there any specifics about how you're going to be used in different situations?
KE: No, I'm not going to get into any details as far as that, but basically, I just want to come in and whatever they need me to do, whatever the coaches need me to do, I'll just trust that they'll put me in the best situations possible and I'll do what I need to do, and do my job and help the team; help contribute to the team.
Q: What are your thoughts about being able to team up with Trey Flowers on the defensive line this season?
KE: One of the great things that I've been able to do in my career is just play off my teammates' intensity. I know Trey [Flowers] is a great competitor, he's a hard worker. I've heard nothing but great things about him and just being around a guy like that up here, I think it's really going to help develop my game just because the guy knows how to do things the right way. What will help motivate and develop my game is me trying to match his intensity or grow past it. It's more so about feeding off of each other. I think it will be a great tandem to do so. Read