David Andrews seems to feel similar to many New England Patriots fans midway through the NFL offseason.
The Patriots, who went out and splurged in free agency before just putting the finishing touches on a 2021 NFL Draft class which includes a potential franchise quarterback in Mac Jones, have provided much-needed excitement after a disappointing 2020 campaign.
Now, as Andrews noted during a video conference with reporters Tuesday, it’s just counting down the days until the Patriots get to put it together between the lines.
“I was excited to see some of the improvement we were making and some of the guys we were bringing in,” Andrews, who re-signed on a four-year contract, told reporters, per the team. “I’m definitely excited for what we’re doing. Met a lot of the new guys. Excited to get the chance to actually get out and practice with them and play football with them. That’s what we’re all here for is to play, so hopefully we get to do that soon.”
The Patriots, who went 7-9 last season, improved across the board while adding depth at positions of need.
“We made a lot of improvement on paper and that’s definitely part of it,” Andrews added. “Now we have to become a football team. We have to work together. Learn to work together, because obviously there’s going to be a lot of new faces, and just become a team and start putting it together here. That’ll build through the offseason and obviously into training camp. Excited once we get the rookies into the building and start working with them. Just excited to get the whole ball rolling here.”
The Patriots’ offense, as you probably know, made a handful of early signings in free agency with two of the top tight ends — Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry — a pair of receivers — Nelson Agholor, Kendrick Bourne — along with trading for offensive tackle Trent Brown and re-signing former Patriot lineman Ted Karras. (Andrews on Tuesday shared a hilarious reaction to seeing Brown back in the confines of Gillette Stadium, too.)
They all should help Andrews and the Patriots’ offense, which had a down season as veteran quarterback Cam Newton struggled in his first campaign in New England.
Of course, that doesn’t even include the signings on the defensive side like edge rusher Matt Judon, linebacker Kyle Van Noy or the draftees like the No. 15 overall pick Jones, defensive tackle Christian Barmore and defensive end Ronnie Perkins.
Andrews admitted that while he was impressed by the number of players the Patriots signed, it wasn’t his main reason for returning. His hope, as he mentioned, was set in motion prior to the organization’s spending.
“(I) knew we wanted to be back here. It all made sense,” Andrews said. “I kind of made that clear throughout the whole process. Super excited to be back. Super excited to see all the new faces we added, especially now, the draft just ended. This is home like I’ve said. This is a special place to me. The Kraft family is very special to me. The community, the coaches, the team. I’ve enjoyed playing here and I want to play here.”
Andrews signed a four-year deal worth $19 million, keeping him in New England through the 2024 season.