Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi announced his retirement less than two weeks before the team's 2009 season opener against the Bills. Someone would have to step up to replace the longtime Patriots linebacker. Few people considered Gary Guyton to be the answer.
The versatile linebacker played both inside and outside linebacker positions for the Patriots last season. Despite the success, Guyton still considers himself just a regular guy.
"I wake up in the morning and do what everybody else does," Guyton told the Herald. "Brush my teeth, wash my face. I may be faster than some of the guys, but I always want to be looked at as a regular person. I'm approachable. I like to interact with my fans, talk to people from everywhere, let them know I’m an OK guy."
Bill Belichick took advantage of Guyton's versatility as the Patriots' linebacker more than doubled his workload last season, participating in 874 defensive snaps for the Patriots. Guyton already has recovered from the heavy workload.
"I got a little youth on my side," Guyton told the Herald. "I feel like I'm 11 years old. No, actually all it takes is time. I didn't get too beat up. Everybody has bumps and bruises, so just sit back and let those heal."
Guyton will never forget his roots. According to The Boston Globe, the linebacker has the numbers 912 tattooed on his left wrist, an everlasting reminder of his birthplace and home, Hinesville, Georgia.
"That's Hinesville, Georgia, where I was born and raised," Guyton told the Globe. "I don't get to go home a lot, but this way home is always with me."
Guyton may not be Tedy Bruschi, but he does not have to be. As long as he plays the game his way, he should always have a spot on the Patriots' roster.
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