LM: It felt good.
Q: What’s the best part of being back out there?
LM: Just being with the guys. I’ve never been hurt, really, so not being out at practice was something new for me, which I didn’t enjoy too much. It’s good to be back out and just trying to get better as fast as possible.
Q: You said you didn’t enjoy it too much. Was it just tough to watch?
LM: Yeah. In years past, I was always one of the guys that made fun of the guys that were hurt; now I got put in that position. I always felt like we were here to do a job, so you should be out there practicing and playing. The first few weeks of camp were tough not to be out there, but it was something that had to be done.
Q: Did the knee limit you at all today?
LM: No. I don’t know, I only got to do individual today, so we’re still taking it slow, day by day, see if we can do a little more each day.
Q: Will you stop making fun of people now?
LM: No, definitely not.
Q: Were you surprised to find out the diagnosis after the postseason had ended and they said it was torn?
LM: Yeah, I knew something was wrong with it. I didn’t know to what extent, but it was a little surprising.
Q: What did it feel like? Did you feel significantly limited during the postseason? Do you know when it happened?
LM: I’m not going to get into when it happened, because it happened a long time ago, a lot longer than you would have thought it happened. It wasn’t 100 percent, but it was still functional.
Q: Have you been optimistic and are you still optimistic that you’ll be ready to go when the season starts?
LM: I don’t know; I wish I knew. How long do we have? A few more weeks? I’d like to think I would be able to, but I don’t know. We’re taking it slow right now so it’s hard to tell.
Q: How big of a step is today for you mentally?
LM: It’s a big step. We haven’t put on pads or anything yet, so whenever that gets to happen that will be the next big step. We’ll just see how it goes.
Q: You guys have had a lot of moving parts along the offensive line. What’s the dynamic of that group been like with guys like Matt Light not here and some new faces?
LM: It’s been a weird camp. A lot of guys coming in and then they’ll come in for one day and then they’re hurt so it’s been a lot of shuffling parts in there. I think there were a few practices we only had eight or nine guys. That’s pretty tough during camp – not having two full lines. I think the guys are in good shape, they’ve been working hard and they’re working hard on the plays and they’re getting better each day. I think they did a good job in the game the other night and gave us some things to build off of.
Q: You must be looking forward to
LM: You know as much as I do. I don’t know when he’s coming or if he is or what’s going on. That might be between him and Bill [Belichick].
Q: Would you say the injury happened before the Super Bowl?
LM: Yeah, yeah.
Q: Did it happen during the regular season?
Q: It happened sometime last season?
Q: Did it happen while you were playing left tackle?
LM: No. I hurt my left knee playing left tackle. I had surgery on my right knee.
Q: Was there any conversation about you sitting down at any point?
LM: No. I could still run, so there was no reason to sit out. There were no MRIs or anything, so we never knew what exactly was hurt. If you could still run and play, there’s no reason to go see a doctor, right?
Q: So you didn’t know you had a torn ACL until after the season when you had the MRI?
Q: What’s your pain threshold like?
LM: It’s pretty good.
Q: People are going to wonder how you played with something like that.
LM: I don’t know. Put a brace on, tape an aspirin to it and go.
Q: If the pain was so bad, why wouldn’t you get an MRI to find out what was wrong with it?
LM: I didn’t say it was bad, did you?
Q: It had pain, so there had to be something wrong with it, no?
LM: There’s a lot of pain in football, right?
Q: You have more pain in your left knee and it’s nothing?
LM: I don’t know. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t want to get into everything.
Q: What’s the recovery process like?
LM: It’s tedious. It takes forever to even be able to flex your leg and then you go on from there and you just keep working at it and hopefully you get it strong enough in time. We were kind of working on a short schedule here, so we were pushing it pretty good.
Q: Anyone in particular that’s helped you through the process?
LM: Oh yeah, all my trainers – Joe [Van Allen], Jim [Whalen] – those guys have been great; the weight staff, Harold [Nash] and Moses [Cabrera]. They’ve been right there with me the whole time and pushed me when I didn’t want to do something and annoyed me a lot but they were great. [I] couldn’t have done it without them.
Q: Did your knee get much worse during the Super Bowl because at times you didn’t look like yourself out there?
LM: Well, the Super Bowl was a tough one. I was banged up a little, but everyone was at that point of the year. Everyone knew something wasn’t quite right, so that’s why we had the MRI after the game to see out what was wrong.
Q: But the situation was the Super Bowl and you said, ‘I’m not sitting this out, I have to play.’
LM: If I can run, I’m not going to sit out any game. I’m here to play football, not to watch and collect a check.
Q: When you see as much change as there has been this offseason along the offensive line, how much did that add extra inspiration for you to work out and get back as soon as possible, if at all?
LM: I knew I needed to be here as one of the older guys of the line just to help out the younger guys, lead by example, stuff like that. Like I said before, my job is to play football, so I’m going to do everything I can to get back on the field as soon as possible.
Q: What’s your level of confidence with
LM: I have a lot of confidence in Nate. Nate is one of those guys that’s going to do everything in his power to get better and to work hard. He’s always studying, always lifting, always running. If you’ve seen him, he’s in phenomenal shape and he’s a great athlete and he’s got the mindset to work hard. He does what the coaches ask him; he does what older guys – the advice we give him he takes it to heart and tries to do it. Nate is going to do a great job and we expect him to do a great job.
Q: Is it important for you guys to learn to work together?
LM: Yeah, we need to get some reps with each other, but I don’t know when that’s going to happen, but sooner or later hopefully.
Q: When did you know you’d be practicing today?
Q: You had to get clearance, one final clearance from the team?
LM: Yeah, I followed their rules. They said, ‘You can go out there,’ I said, ‘Alright.’
Q: Bill Belichick said you need to spend a couple days in shells before you can put on the pads.
LM: Yeah, I think that’s some CBA rule or something – you have to be in shells a few days before you can go into pads, so I’ll be out here like this again tomorrow.