Ty Law doesn't mince words when talking about his former team over the years, especially in the post-Tom Brady era of the last three seasons.
Although he is known for being brutally honest with his takes, some may say his comments could be considered harsh, including his most recent conversation while appearing on WEEI's Greg Hill Show last week.
Since OTAs are the main topic of discussion right now, the importance of these voluntary practices continues to be debated. The hosts mentioned to Law the comments that long-time offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia had to say about OTAs just days prior and wanted to hear his take on their importance from a player's perspective.
"Depends on where you’re at in your career and who you are. I think OTAs [matter] if you’re coming to a new system to get acclimated to the playbook because it’s different terminologies everywhere you go. Football is football, but they say it differently. So for some [it is necessary]."
The three-time Super Bowl champion went on to explain how he only went to OTAs as a rookie but then decided they weren't necessary for him, referring to the practices as "meaningless."
"I never had to do the offseason program. Because they knew what I was going to bring to the table coming back. They actually asked me to take a couple of guys with me. They were OK with guys coming with me to train because that’s what I did."
Along with the necessity of organized team activities being questioned, so is the criticism of the players that choose to skip them. Although mandatory mini-camp is just around the corner, followed by preseason, those on the roster that don't show up tend to be dragged through the mud despite knowing they're not required to be there.
With the list of players absent from last week's practices circulating online, one player in particular that chose not to attend, JuJu Smith-Schuster, seemed to catch the most flack for not showing up.
Law was asked if it was at all concerning that the Patriots' newest receiver was missing his first OTAs since joining the team. Despite not taking issue with Smith-Schuster's absence, Law harshly commented about him not taking the opportunity to learn his new team's system sooner.
"Not really. He’s earned a certain right as far as being a veteran guy, but as far as learning the system and the terminology, he probably should be here. It ain’t like he’s Randy Moss."
He makes a fair point about veteran guys not always needing extra practice in, and he's right about the potential importance of new players getting in early to learn the new system and terminology because it is vastly different from team to team.
Smith-Schuster isn't the first new player to miss the first OTAs in their first year with the Patriots, and it likely won't matter all that much come September.
However, because the Patriots are historically known for having a difficult playbook to learn, it would probably be best if he did appear this coming week for the remaining practices before training camp.