While there's a lot of focus on the new faces that could contribute at linebacker this season for the Patriots, Matthew Judon is looking to build off of a successful first season with New England as he's suddenly one of the most experienced players in the position group.
"I'm so much more prepared," said Judon from the visitor's entrance inside Gillette Stadium. "We're all speaking the same language and I can talk to my coaches differently this time than last year. We're reading the same book, same language, same page now and we can expand upon what we did last year."
Judon got off to a hot start in 2021, when he and his red sleeves logged 12.5 sacks and 25 QB hits in the team's first 13 games and took the league and opponents by storm. But as was the case with the entire team, his production tapered off at the end of the season and the end result was a disappointing loss to the Bills in the Divisional Round.
"Every year's a new year, I always say I don't know how I'm going to be blocked, it will go from game to game to team to team," said Judon of his outlook on 2022. "I just hope to improve my play, regardless of what it is or what I'm asked to do. Just be a better player, better teammate, better friend."
The transition in Judon's position group is hard to miss, as young players like Josh Uche, Ronnie Perkins, Anfernee Jennings and others finally have a chance to shine. At one point during Wednesday's session, Judon was spotted giving some of his young teammates some pointers as the vet has stepped up his leadership in his second season.
"I'm just trying to impart some of the wisdom that was imparted on me growing up," said Judon. "I had great mentors and leaders throughout my years in the league and I think it would be terrible of me to leave this league and just take all my knowledge with me. They might take some, they might be, 'Alright, this is what I do,' but as long as I'm there and if they ask, I'm going to help. Whatever I can do to make their career smoother, that's what I'm going to do."
As the offseason wound down, Judon seemed to be embracing the process.
"I enjoy spending time with everybody in the locker room, I enjoy being back, jokes, life... everything is different," said Judon. "We got a different locker room and we'll have a different team this year. I'm just enjoying the moments."