A wide smile burst across New England Patriots left tackle Isaiah Wynn’s face Wednesday afternoon when asked if he’d slimmed down over the offseason.
Wynn, already undersized at 6-foot-2, looks noticeably trimmer this season, though it might have just been a readjustment of weight.
“I really wouldn’t say slim down,” Wynn said Wednesday. “I put on more muscle as compared to last year.”
So, it’s not just the Patriots’ new slimming blue-on-blue uniforms.
It was all an effort of not only looking to prevent injuries that hampered Wynn’s first two seasons with the Patriots but to resist them. He’s being proactive.
“I just got a chance to focus on building up my strength and building up the places that I may have had injuries,” Wynn, who has dealt with shoulder and foot ailments the last two years, said.
Wynn is one of two NFL starting offensive tackles to not allow a single pressure — no sacks, no QB hits, no pressures — through two games, per PFF. He’s formed a dependable blind side of the line with left guard Joe Thuney to protect new quarterback Cam Newton.
“Isaiah is a good player, does a lot of things well,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday. “He’s a very athletic player with very good playing strength and leverage. He’s got good feet and he’s a smart kid and he really takes well to coaching and making adjustments and those kind of things.
“So, it’s good to have him out there and hopefully he can continue in his development. He and Joe have played together now. They have a good feel for each other there and work together well on a lot of different combinations and adjustments and things like that they have to make. Those two guys really help each other. They’re both good players and they help each other as well.”
Wynn can get away with being undersized thanks to his combination of quicks, power and precise technique. It does help to have one of the NFL’s best left guards playing next to him, as well.
“Joe’s a great guy and he’s also smart and he’s very reliable,” Wynn said. “He’s one of the most reliable players we have on this team. So, just being able to continue to play next to him and learn from him has been good for me because he got me better. Just to be able to talk to him and talk through stuff with him and also work with him.”
Wynn was a surprise first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, and while he played well in his first two NFL seasons, he also was only on the field for eight games. He’s finally feeling fully healthy, and it’s showing with his play on the field.