It's hard to imagine any player finding the silver lining in a rookie season spent on injured reserve with a serious knee injury, but that's the exact spin Patriots second-year safety Guss Scott has put on his first NFL season.
The 5-10, 205-pound Florida alum selected by the Patriots in the third round of last year's draft never stepped on the field for regular season action after the preseason injury against the Bengals last August, but he still believes simply being around the system for a year better prepares him for the coming season.
"It was one of those things, I was untouched and the knee gave out," Scott said looking back on the injury that cost him his rookie season. "Some things happen for a reason. I sat back and watched and learned a lot of football. It could have happened on any play. You just take it and deal with it."
But for a guy who says he had never really been injured before, sitting back and dealing with that injury wasn't necessarily an easy thing to do.
"The toughest part was being hurt because it was really the first time I've ever been hurt," Scott said. "I've never dealt with rehab and stuff like that before. But not playing is something you have to deal with. It happened and you have to bounce back from it. The motivation is toward this year."
That motivation has had plenty of time to fester, leaving Scott itching to get back on the field as soon as possible. The then-rookie got plenty of reps early in training camp last summer and as he works back to that point of full-health, a return to the field in full-pads is the pot of gold at the end of his workout rainbow.
"First of all I just want to get on the field and run down the field on a kickoff or something, anything," Scott said. "I just want to play and contribute and be a part of this team.
"I'm just anxious to go out there and compete and have a good time playing football again. It's the game I've been playing since I was six years old. I'm anxious to go out there and compete, have a good time again and get laughing and joking with the guys in the locker room again."
Scott knows as a young player he will have to earn every opportunity he receives, but also thinks he can be a positive and unique addition to the New England secondary this season.
"I see myself as just a smart safety," Scott said. "I'm obviously not too big so I can't say I'm a physical safety. Compared to Rodney [Harrison] I'm nothing. I can't say I'm a physical safety next to him. I would say I'm a versatile safety because I can play both strong and free."
While Scott hesitates to compare himself to the All-Pro Harrison, he has taken advantage of the veteran as a resource to learn from as he acclimates himself to the pro game.
"That's all you can do from a player like that –learn from him," Scott said. "His aggressiveness, knowledge of the game…everything. From practice even, he sprint's out [saying] 'Hey young man, I should never beat you out here on the field.' Stuff like that just makes you a better player. You treat every play like it's your last."
Or maybe more appropriately the hungry Scott should treat every play like it's his first, because after a long wait at some point this fall it will be.