Since arriving in the NFL two years ago, Isaiah Wynn has never had an offseason like this year’s — not just because he and the rest of the league had to undergo virtual preparations in spring due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Wynn also was able to participate fully from start to finish for the first time: he joined the process comparatively late in 2018, and spent 2019 rehabbing from an Achilles injury suffered during his rookie preseason.
Almost two years removed from that injury and also fully recovered from a toe issue that forced him to sit out eight games last year, the former first-round draft pick is now ready to finally live up to the natural expectations that come with his draft position.
“I’m all good, I’m excited about the season. I’m feeling good, I’m looking good,” the 24-year-old said during a media conference call on Monday. “This offseason I got a chance to work on the smaller things as far as just strengthening my body as opposed to having to rehab. This is kind of my first official offseason that I’m healthy, so I feel great.”
Coming off a 2019 offseason that saw him work primarily behind the scenes, Wynn was inserted into the New England Patriots’ starting lineup as their left tackle — a role he held for five quarters before hurting his toe in Week 2 and being placed on short-term injured reserve. While he eventually made his way back into the lineup and was able to show his talents in spurts, Wynn has yet to become the long-term left tackle New England hoped it would get when it invested the 23rd overall selection of the 2018 draft in him.
This year, however, he focusing on taking that next step. He is not so much focused on talking about it, though.
“I don’t want to speak too much on it because I want to show it on the film,” said Wynn. “But I’ve just been working on my consistency. That’s one thing that will be a lot different this year: consistency in all aspects of my game.
“Just the small things as far as getting stronger, technique and breaking down film, breaking down opponents. All of that stuff sometimes can get overlooked by the bigger picture, but it all boils down to the little things and details.”
This attention is something Wynn learned during his time with the Patriots’ long-time offensive line coach, Dante Scarnecchia. While the five-time world champion announced his retirement from coaching earlier this offseason, Wynn is still feeling the impact and trying to follow the lessons Scarnecchia taught him during their two years together.
“It’s a lot, but the most important is just the details,” Wynn said when talking about Scarnecchia’s impact on him and what he took away from being coached by him. “The details are really essential in everything you do, whether it comes on the field or off the field. Being able to hone in on your craft is one big thing that I was left with by him.”
Heading into the 2020 season, Wynn and the rest of New England’s offensive line will have to continue their development without Scarnecchia around to guide them. However, the left tackle — who is one of three returning starters from last year alongside guards Joe Thuney and Shaq Mason — did express his confidence in the team’s new O-line coaching tandem, Cole Popovich and Carmen Bricillo.
“It’s been good,” Wynn said when speaking about the transition. “Both coaches, Cole and Carmen, have experience with Coach Scar, so if anything it is nothing different as far as teaching and all that. It’s exciting. It’s nothing new that we really have to learn — like I said, they’ve been under Scar.”