With their 2021 season already coming to an end in mid-January, the New England Patriots have been in offseason mode for quite some time now. Since then, the page has been turned: with free agency looming and both the draft and the offseason workout program on the horizon, the team is very much in the process of turning the page.
In order to make this process a productive one, the team needs to take a day-by-day approach — at least according to Lawrence Guy. The veteran defensive lineman, who is coming off his fourth season in New England, recently spoke about the team’s offseason goals and preparation.
“We have to take it day by day,” Guy told NBC Sports’ Next Pats Podcast. “If you don’t take it day by day, you’re never going to achieve what you want to do. You can’t think ahead, you can’t think of the past, you have to stay in the now, like, ‘What can we do now?’
“Right now, the best thing that we can do is recover from the season. It was a long 17 games. You’re not thinking about 17 until you play 17, and you’re like, ‘Oh, this is a long season.’ You have to recover from that, get your body right.”
The Patriots ended the first ever 17-game regular season with a 10-7 record and return to the playoffs. However, they were very much limping over the line down the stretch: not only did the team lose three of its final four games of the regular season, it also headed into the postseason bout with the Buffalo Bills having 13 total players listed on the injury report.
With an additional 15 on a medical reserve list, the focus on recovery is a natural one at this time of the year. For Guy, however, the priorities extend beyond getting back in shape.
“As you keep going from there and you start going into the real offseason training and building, the whole goal is to fix the mistakes that you made last year,” he said. “As individual players: be better than you were the year before. Be better than you are today, tomorrow. You always have to challenge yourself and I think we have to do that. We have to challenge each other every single day we step into the locker room.
“We have to have an understanding that there’s a goal here. The goal’s to get into the playoffs, we went to the playoffs. The goal is not just to be in the playoffs, the goal’s to win a playoff game, and we have to continue to try for that accomplishment. But it starts Day 1 in offseason workouts, and it starts Day 1 of training camp, and it leads on.”
Whereas the Patriots’ decision makers are focused on personnel decisions regarding both the roster and the coaching staff, the players are taking the time off. Some, like rookie quarterback Mac Jones, are using the time to refuel the tanks. Others, such as offensive tackle Isaiah Wynn, are in the process of rehabilitation.
Guy falls into the second group as well. He was limited in practice heading into the playoffs because of a shoulder injury.