Apparently, the “Patriot Way” sticks with the members of the New England Patriots even during the offseason, and one in which teams are locking out players. While players from other teams have been very public about their “players only” workouts, the Pats have kept quiet about their offseason exploits. Among the teams that have been very public about their workouts, Mark Sanchez and his “Jets West” camp has probably been the most highly publicized, along with the Cowboys and the Saints. True to how the Patriots operate when they are under Bill Belichick’s hood, a group of 12-16 players have been working out at Edge Performance Systems in the Foxboro Sports Center. Second-year TE Rob Gronkowski had to be pressed by the media after initially declining to say anything about player workouts.
“We’ve been doing everything, but we’re on the down-low,” Gronkowski said. “We are intense. The workouts are insane. We’ve been getting after it hard. I feel great right now, ready to go.”
The workouts have been organized by ILB Jerod Mayo, and while some players have been in and out, there is a core group that has been consistently at the workouts. Matt Light, Dan Koppen, Rob Gronkowski, Brian Hoyer, Mayo and Patrick Chung are those players that have been confirmed regulars. Matt Light’s presence is interesting, being that he is technically a free agent. Not only that, but essentially, his replacement was drafted in April when the Pats selected Nate Solder in the first round. However, a Light return is not completely ruled out. He could start the year and mentor Solder, and once Solder takes the reigns, would provide quality depth and leadership as he nears the end of a great career.
The Patriot workouts focus solely on strength and conditioning, and do not include scheme or technique work, as least not in any kind of detail. Those details would have to be worked out amongst the players themselves, as they are forbidden from contact with coaches. QB Tom Brady has reportedly not been at the workouts, though if the lockout continues to drag on, ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss suggested that Brady would bring teammates to his place in California for passing work.
Honestly, it’s nice to hear that some of the Pats have been working out together. With news of a bunch of other teams getting together, I was a little worried that the Pats were waiting out the lockout. I should have known better. The fact that the Pats are not front-and-center with the media is par for the course. Now, if we could only end this lockout and get the players working with their coaches again…