The Patriots announced their all decade team for the 2010s on Wednesday, a collection of talented players, all whom played some part in the team's five Super Bowl appearances and three championships of the last decade. Lawrence Guy spoke with the media shortly after the announcement that he was named to the team at defensive tackle alongside Vince Wilfork.
"I'm honored to be on that list," said Guy. "Going through what I went through early in my career, it shows that a lot of hard work and dedication can lead to a lot of ways. And it shows that people who are in my shoes now and are going through their process now, they can achieve something if they put their mind to it."
Guy was originally a 2011 seventh-round pick of the Packers, spending his rookie year on injured reserve and then playing on their practice squad for much of 2012 before being signed by the Colts to their active roster. He followed that season with a two-year stint in San Diego and then three years with the Ravens before signing in free agency with the Patriots in 2017.
It was a long road to the All-Decade team for Guy and he embraced his chance with the Patriots where he described "getting comfortable with being uncomfortable," as he pursues constant improvement.
"That's what I feel like I've been able to do, is to take to coaching that is given to me and not overthink it like 'well I know what I'm doing.' No, I'm always trying to get better in some way, somehow so I want to take the coaching."
In all, the team features players who arrived by many different ways. 15 were drafted by the Patriots, including seven first-round picks, three second-round picks, one third-round pick, three fourth-round picks, single picks in the fifth, sixth and seventh rounds. Three were undrafted players, one came via trade and six were free agent signings like Guy.
It speaks to Bill Belichick's mantra that it doesn't matter how players arrive, it only matters what they do once they get there.
"They challenged me to get uncomfortable," reflected Guy. "They push you to the limit so you have to be uncomfortable to get comfortable. And knowing that aspect you can see over the years the development of why I'm able to move down the line and be comfortable in every position. They're pushing me and they're inspiring me to be better and better every day and gotten me to the point where no matter what hand I put down or what position I am, I'm comfortable."
Many of the players on the All Decade team required similar developmental routes. Tom Brady spent a year as a backup, Julian Edelman arrived as a seventh-round college quarterback and like Matthew Slater, no one was sure if he even had an NFL position. Rob Ninkovich was a cast-off long snapper, while Malcolm Butler and David Andrews went undrafted and became critical players in championship moments.
There were plenty of first-round studs on the list like Dont'a Hightower, Chandler Jones and Stephon Gilmore, but for every one of them comes someone like Guy, who had to earn their way while hanging on at the bottom of the roster. Guy credited the Patriots for pushing him.
"Knowing the Patriots, they want you to be good, to always be a better you," said Guy. "That's being better on special teams, being better at your position or being better in a position you don't play, or learning something totally different.
Improving his craft is something Guy and all the Patriots on the All Decade team always had a focus on and while the Patriots gave them all an equal opportunity, it ultimately comes down to the hard work they put in.
"Success comes from what you put in on it," said Guy. "I would say that the Patriots gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent and spread my wings. But all that being said, it's only as good as what you put into it. If you're not going to put in the work, if you're not going to put in the time to get better, to constantly improve yourself you're not going to accomplish your goals and dreams."
The Patriots Hall of Fame Nomination Committee, a 27-person panel consisting of reporters, alumni and staff, gathered virtually on Monday, April 13, to nominate, debate and select the New England Patriots 2010s All-Decade Team. The 29-position All-Decade Team consists of 12 offensive players, including a flex player, 12 defensive players, one kicker, one punter, one returner, one special teams player and a head coach.