DL LAWRENCE GUY
April 29, 2020
Q: How does it feel to be named to the Patriots All-Decade Team? As the Patriots pride themselves on all three phases of the game, what are your thoughts on the members on offense and special teams?
LG: I'm honored to be on that list. Going through what I went through from the beginning of my career to now, it shows that a lot of hard work and dedication can lead to a lot of ways. And it shows other people that were in my shoes or are in my shoes now, going through their process in the NFL, that they can achieve something if they put their mind to it and they can achieve their goals and their dreams to be recognized as being a good player in people's eyes and being that asset. Special teams, defense and offensive players – that aspect of it across the board and seeing people that are able to achieve that goal and be named and to be honored and recognized beyond that is truly awesome if you look at it. Because that means people put in the time on and off the field, in the classroom, with their teammates and all the aspects of life to get to that point. You can just see how they truly helped other people and how their game helped everyone else's game and how the person coming in is going to see them and be like, 'I want to be like them. I want to learn their path,' and see everything is not roses. It's a little bit of hard work you have to put into it. You might get stuck by a couple thorns.
Q: How much do you think your success has been influence by the Patriots system and the coaches here?
LG: Well, success comes from what you put in on it. I would say that the Patriots gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent and gave me the opportunity to sprout my wings more. But, all that being said, you're only as good as what you put in. 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 really not going to accomplish your goals and dreams. Being with the Patriots, what they do is they see the goals, and they push you. And that's what you want. You want to be pushed harder and harder, but they understand that aspect of how you play, how you're developing and work with that. They don't work around it; they work with you to make sure you truly are able to reach your full potential. Me joining, I felt like I joined at the best time of my career. I thought that, like you said, that gave me the opportunity to spread my wings and they gave me the opportunity to continue to grow as I wanted to grow as a player and a teammate and leader on and off the field.
Q: How do you think you've grown as a player?
LG: I feel like every year is a new challenge. If you're not getting better, you're pretty much out of the loop. That's just how it is. So, consistently trying to get better and consistently pushing yourself, I feel like that's what I'm doing is getting better, learning the game more and more. You can never stop learning this game. You're always going to learn something new every single year, it's just what aspect of the game are you going to learn differently this year than last year. If you're choosing to fix a mistake that you see on film the previous year, or from five years ago that continues that come up, that's what I feel like I have been able to do is to take the coaching given to me and not overthink it, like, 'Wow, I know what I'm doing.' No, I'm always trying to get better some way, somehow. So, I want to take the coaching, and I'm able to do that and improve.
* Q: Vince Wilfork is the other defensive tackle on this All-Decade Team. What connection, if any, do you have with him?*
LG: Like I said, I'm honored to be named on the same list as a player of his caliber, what he was able to do. The only time I ever talked to him really was when he came and talked to the team and been around him and listened to his stories here and there. I went to his retirement announcement, just to get a little bit more inspiration of what he went through in the league and what he had to say about his retirement. But, other than that, I wasn't here when he was here. I wish I was here when he was playing with the Patriots so I could learn a little bit more about the way he approached the game and learn a little bit more about the way he studied and the way he was able to do it. A man that size, and then be that athletic and intelligent, is something you just want to learn from, you know? But, other than that, like you said, I look at his game when we would look at old film or put up a whole game that Bill [Belichick] wants to watch; we see how he's able to move the pocket and we see how he's able to play those run downs. And more people might not say it, but you see that man pass rush, it's pretty unique because for someone his size, to be able to move the way he does, it's pretty impressive.
Q: What have the virtual workouts been like for you guys?
LG: You've got to ask Bill about that. It's pretty good. It's unique. It's one of those things, what's going on in the world today, there's a pandemic and it's crazy. It's a hard time for everybody. And we're able to do virtual workouts, we're able to do virtual meetings, we're able to still find a new way to continue to improve our craft. It's a different way of learning. I was talking to somebody a couple days ago, like it's a different way of learning as far as you can help pretty much everybody in the aspect of getting what you need to do on paper and through words. So, you might see it, you might hear it without fully understanding it. You can ask a little bit more questions because you're in your comfort zone. When you're up at the facility around everybody else, you're moving, you're doing everything, you might feel uncomfortable. But now that we're not able to do that, you hear more questions. You hear more things being said and trying to get more detailed into it. Not that we weren't that detailed, but you can just see it developing. I truly think when the rookies come in and they get to experience something that's different, their learning curve is going to be there, but I feel like we have resources, we have the players that are able to reach out and talk and help them out. And that's going to help every single player get a little bit closer with their teammates through this time because we don't have that interaction on the field, so we want to have more interaction on the phone, through video chat and try to get to know each other that way.
Q: How do you think playing for the Patriots has evolved over your career? Have they asked you to do different things over the years?
LG: If you follow my background I have around the league and everything, I'm able to play multiple positions. I can say what the Patriots made me do is improve those positions. They challenged me to get uncomfortable in certain positions where I know it. In certain spots I know, I'm like, 'Hey, I've really got this spot,' But they'll say, 'You're really good at that one, but we need you to move down to this spot over here, play a little bit more nose, play a little bit more this, play more of that and develop your skillsets cause we know they're there.' So, they push you to the limit where you're like, 'I have to be uncomfortable to get comfortable.' Knowing that aspect, you could just see over the years the development of I'm able to move down the line and be comfortable at every position. Their pushing of me and their striving for me to be better and better every day got me to the point where I'm able to be comfortable, no matter what hand I put down or what position I'm in. Before, it might not have been that way – I'm comfortable here, so I'm going to stick to this. But, knowing the Patriots, they want you to be good. They want you to always be the better you. So, if that's being better on special teams, being better at your position, being better at a position you don't play, or it might be something totally different. But, being a multi-unit player, that's what they strive to do and that's a motto – the more you can do, the better – and that's what everyone's able to do on this team. If you look through the whole roster, there's not one person that only plays one position or one aspect. Everybody on the roster can play multiple positions, they can also play special teams in multiple positions, and that's what we strive to be, to be a better player – not just a single player but to be an all-around player.
Q: The Patriots allowed you to play on the edge a little. Was that part of your conversation with Bill during the free agent process that he envisioned that for you and you envisioned that for yourself?
LG: If you have had a conversation with Bill – well, you guys know how that conversation goes. Pretty much, when I came out on my visit, I sat with everybody. I sat with Matt Patricia, Brian Flores, Brendan Daly. We all sat in a room, we watched some film, we pulled up the film with – I was with the Ravens, so we put the Ravens-Patriots game on and we went over it, the whole game. Like, 'What do you think?' We did all that. Coming down to speaking with Bill, it was straight to the point. Bill was like, 'This is where we value you as a player, and we're going to get the best out of you.' Pretty much, that was it. He's a straight-shooter and that's what you need to hear. He's going to tell you the truth. He's going to tell you how it is. That's what he pretty much was telling me, like, 'If you come on this team, we're going to make you better because we're going to push you. We're going to make you uncomfortable.' And when I first stepped in the door, I wasn't perfect on the field. I wasn't perfect in the system that we were doing, but I chose to get better every day and they challenged me consistently. So, from the first year, to the second year, to last year, you can see the improvement in different aspects of my game because they're never going to let you be like, 'OK, you're good here. That's it.' They're always going to be like, 'Well, you're good here. Now let's get better.'
Q: On the personal side, what has quarantine been like for you and the family? Do you have any favorite activities that you've picked up or anything like that?
LG: Well, of course. It's quarantine. You know, I've got a 2-year-old. We have her in dance and ballet and gymnastics. Well, that stopped. When that stopped, she went crazy. She's a firecracker right now. About five hours ago, I'm over there cleaning something up off the ground, and all of a sudden, she's on top of my neck, saying, 'Daddy, let's go.' I'm like, 'How did you get up there?' But, other than that, it's just enjoying the family time, doing stuff with the kids. We had a nightly walk going for a while and my daughter was having a blast. But, I think the last time we did that was last week. I think we made it halfway and she stopped and looked at me and said, 'No. No, Daddy. We're done. We've got to go back home. So I said OK and put her on my shoulders and went home. Other than that, we tried kites. The kite didn't really go anywhere. That was an epic fail. The drone got lost. We were playing with the drone and it flew away – don't know where it went, it just flew away. It wouldn't come home. I got a little speed boat out back in the pool. But, other than that, I've got a play gound in the backyard that we go and play on, we swing, we try to go down the slide here and there, play with the dogs, but most likely it's just enjoying arts and crafts right now. [Inaudible] Other than that, we're just singing a whole bunch of Moana and a whole bunch of Aladdin. She loves the new Aladdin, so we're playing that to the point where all we hear is, 'Hey Siri, play Aladdin soundtrack.' Alright, we're going to listen to Aladdin again. But's pretty much it. That's quarantine life for me. You know, getting up in the morning, working out, coming back and just enjoying the family time and getting to know each other even more. Like everybody else can say, you're getting to know your family a little bit more because you pretty much staying at home, picking up stuff to do. Like wash off the patio – I didn't know why, I just needed to wash this patio – and just doing some chores.
Q: Have you memorized all of the soundtracks yet?
LG: Memory? No, but I know what track to put on, let me say that. I know 'Speechless 1,' 'Speechless 2,' 'A Friend Like Me' – track 3, track 4. We have it down. I have Alexa; I have the Dot and the Echo. One of them is playing consistently, back-to-back-to-back-to-back. We get in the car, it's playing as soon as I get in the car, you have the iPhone on memory and it pops on immediately [inaudible]. It's exciting, it's amazing.
Q: You look at this All-Decade Team and the other guys on the team you played with and competed against. They say iron sharpens iron. Take me inside those practice days, playing against each other and how you made each other better.
LG: Well, as you say, iron sharpens iron as one man sharpens another man on the field. That aspect is true. You treat a practice is like a game almost, especially training camp practices – it's all out. You are your brother's keeper. And I am my brother's keeper to protect him on the field but you always try to improve them to the point to the aspect of where you'll get beat on a play and be walking back next to that person, 'What did you do? What did I do wrong?' You have a five-second conversation like, 'You did this; I saw that. I saw you move your hand'. And with that aspect of it, you just continue to grow and you see it on film. I can tell you many times that I went against [Joe] Thuney, Shaq Mason and David [Andrews]. One practice, I'm over there doing amazing against them, and the next practice they're just tearing me up. I'm like, 'What's the difference? What did we do?' And we'll have this whole conversation. He said, 'How did you beat me?' I'll say, 'I felt this, so I knocked your hand down.' I'd say, 'How'd you get under my pads?' I'd say, 'Well, you let your hand go and once I got under there, I'd come off and I saw your feet come under you.' So, those aspects are trying to improve your teammates as you practice throughout the week so you get better and better. But it's not just the people that you see on that list, it's the people that you don't hear about at practice, on the scout team. You have your practice squad players, you have your coaches that are always improving. Because they're doing something that most people don't see them do and that's sharpening the iron. We're going against the scout team every single day and they're perfecting, they're watching another person's film, trying to imitate what they're doing so we get the best look for what we do on Sunday. And for them to take that, go to those meetings, learn our playbook, go learn what they need to do from another player, and come give us the good look really shows the passion they have to try to improve you as you're improving them. So that's the big thing. We're all trying to get better as players. A lot of people don't get recognized that are behind the scenes and they help us to get where we're at, and that's the biggest thing that they're there improving every moment of what we do. I can tell you countless times where I'm doing a one-on-one drill with somebody and I was like, 'You just got me today.' And you just go through the method of how you got me. That aspect is truly enlightening because it's not about how you approach the game, it's about the mentality you approach the game with and that aspect of you're willing to learn from everybody that is around you, all your peers and all your coaches. No matter how big your name is or how small it is, you're always willing to learn something.