Lawrence Guy downplays impact of Patriots' opt-outs this past season


The Patriots finished 7-9 this year, their worst record since 2000, but they had a few things working against them.

Part of that was a league-high eight players opting out, including Dont'a Hightower and Patrick Chung on defense. But appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio Wednesday, defensive tackle and team captain Lawrence Guy downplayed that having a major impact on the year.

“There were a few players that opted out, and there were a few players that stepped up where you got to see their potential and see them strive (toward) who they were going to be and who they’re becoming to be,” he said, via “But at the end of the day, those players that opted out weren’t on that field playing in the game, so they didn’t win or lose a game for us.

“The players that were on the field are the people that won or lost the game. The games we lost, we lost as a team. The games we won, we won as a team. It wasn’t one unit or one play. … This year, we had a challenge that we had to face, and some of those challenges were nail-biters. It came to the last play, the last quarter, the last series, and we weren’t able to finish it. That’s how I look at it.”

Guy also relayed Bill Belichick's to the team following the season.

“Coach is going to do what he’s got to do,” Guy said. “When we left our exit meeting, it was one of those things like, ‘Hey, what’s going to happen next?’ And (Belichick) was like, ‘You guys have to understand. This was a season that we didn’t predict. We had COVID hit. We had a lot of situations that occurred on our team. There was a lot of new people. We didn’t win (the number of) games that we want to win. But that doesn’t mean that we just put our tails under our butts and just walk away. That means you strive to be better the following year.’

“I’ve never been with the organization (at a time) where, win or loss, we (didn’t) come out the following year like, ‘OK, we need to be better.’ ‘We won a Super Bowl? We watch the corrections from the Super Bowl. We won it, but look at all these bad plays we have to improve so we don’t have to do this again the following year.’ And that’s what type of person Coach (Belichick) is. We’re going to improve regardless of the situation. It might not be the outcome that some people might not want, wins or losses, but it’s going to get better every single week.”

As for Super Bowl LV, Guy is pulling for his former teammate Tom Brady.

“I want him to win on a personal note because the legacy he has left and is leaving is going to make future players try to strive to be better than him,” Guy said. “Everybody wants to be better than somebody else who’s trying to reach the same stature, but he’s setting the bar to a point where everybody that’s going to be a future quarterback, future player is like, ‘Hey, I want to reach to where he’s reached. I want to be a player like him. I want to try to play 20 years.’

“Stuff like that is what he’s leaving in the roots of this league that’s going to build so many future players to try to strive to be like that.”

Guy is a free agent following the season, but has expressed a desire to return to New England.

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