FOXBORO, Mass. — Lawrence Guy has yet to play his first game in a New England Patriots uniform, but he did spend the past three seasons playing under a former Patriots coach.
Dean Pees, the Baltimore Ravens’ defensive coordinator, previously worked on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England for six seasons. He was in charge of the Patriots’ defense for three of those campaigns, with New England’s current defensive coordinator, Matt Patricia, serving as his linebackers coach.
Guy signed a four-year, $13.4 million contract with the Patriots earlier this spring, and his experience under Pees’ tutelage should benefit him as he adjusts to his new club. But when asked Wednesday about the similarities between Baltimore’s defense and the one Patricia runs in New England, the veteran defensive lineman played coy.
“You’d have to ask Dean and Matty P about that,” said Guy, whose most productive NFL seasons came during his time with the Ravens. “I can’t tell you about that. … I plead the fifth.”
Playbooks aside, Guy said he hasn’t had to alter his technique much as he transitions from the Ravens’ system to the Patriots’.
“They’re pretty similar,” he said. “Not that big of a difference. You only can play three-technique a certain way. You only can play five a certain way. It’s not ‘Oh, I’ve got this magical rule where you play this this way.’ It’s all running the same.”
This is an ideal time of year for players — especially those who play on the defensive and offensive lines — to work on technique and positioning. There’s no contact allowed during organized team activities and minicamp, and players don’t don full pads for the first time until training camp begins in late July. These rules make spring practices glorified passing camps, forcing the big boys in the trenches to hone in on the little things.
“This is all fundamentals,” Guy explained. “During this time, you need to perfect your hands, your foot placement, your get-off — anything you can to work your craft. You can’t bull rush during this time. You’re not really trying to hurt your teammates. So all you can do is (ask), how can I get the edge? How can I get inside? How can I work around these different things? Because the offensive line is trying to do the same thing.
“So when you create that craft and that speed and that tempo out there, it actually benefits you more as a player, and you get to understand the mindset of your fellow teammates next to you.”
Thumbnail photo via Zack Cox/NESN.com
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