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Matt Light on The Big Show: ‘I’m coming along’

08.19.11 at 5:04 pm ET
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Patriots tackle Matt Light joined The Big Show Friday afternoon following a 31-14 romp over the Buccaneers in New England’s second preseason contest. To hear the interview, go to The Big Show audio on demand page.

Light opened his training camp this past Saturday due to offseason shoulder surgery, and for that reason did not suit up for either of the Patriots’ exhibitions, but he said that he’s progressing.

“I’€™m coming along pretty good,” he said. “I’€™ve obviously been breaking it in a little slow with this shoulder and trying to make sure that it’€™s 100 percent and ready to roll.”

Light added that while, “It’€™s been an odd year,” he’s impressed by what he’s seen from his teammates along the offensive line.

“The routine’€™s different. Everything’€™s changed. But I think that the tempo at practice, everybody’€™s attention to the little things, the detailed stuff, trying to get into situational football out there at practice and everybody working hard and pretty much on the same page, I’€™ve been pretty impressed with it,” he said. “Some of the young guys have stepped in and they understand the system a lot more than maybe what some people would have thought given the fact that we didn’€™t have the offseason. But they worked hard, they’€™re out there, they’€™re playing well and they’€™re filling spots. Look, it’€™s highly competitive out there. For everyone who’€™s watched practice, you’€™ve seen a lot of plays and a lot of guys working their tails off.”

Here are more highlights from the interview:

ON MENTORING YOUNG PLAYERS:

“We all do a good job of pushing each other and I think competition is key to any team’€™s success. If you don’€™t have guys pushing each other each day in practice on both sides of the ball, you’€™re not going to get any better. And it’€™s all about improving week to week and when it comes to some of these younger guys, sure, you definitely want to impart some of the knowledge that you’€™ve gained over the years. Whether it’€™s things about technique. Whether it’€™s an individual play. Things that you’€™ve got to a look out for. Things that have happened to you. That kind of just happens naturally through the process of sitting through meetings, and going out there in walk-throughs, and all those types of things. When I was a younger player I had a lot of guys who were doing that for me. Whether it was the [Mike] Comptons or watching some of these older guys working with some of the rookies at their position.  It just happens naturally throughout the day when you’€™re working as much as we are right now at camp.”

ON WHETHER THE NEW PRACTICE RULES REGARDING CONTACT WILL BE HELPFUL:

“The verdict’€™s going to be out on that one. Ultimately, the reason that the rules were put in place the way that they are now is for one thing, for players’€™ safety. And players’€™ safety has been an issue for a long time, but obviously has heightened over the last couple years with some of the hits these guys have taken on the field that have then led to issues off the field so one of the big concerns when we were negotiation the new CBA was players’€™ safety and welfare.

“Practice, we all know that we need it. We all know that we’€™ve got to go out there and get in football condition and we have the chance and time to do that. But I think that the way things stand now, given the way that we can be out there for three hours in pads and we can get after it, given the fact that we’€™ve got other time to do our walkthrough and do more of the mental rest. I think it’€™s a good mixture of both. I’€™d say that we’€™ve gotten some pretty good work in so far in camp. It’€™s not the way it has been in the past so there’€™s been a little bit of a learning curve, but at the end of the day guy’€™s know how to run into a wall. They know how to hit each other. I think the system’€™s working out pretty well so far.”

ON HIS NEW CONTRACT:

“My situation wasn’t unlike a lot of other guys from around the league. I can’t remember the official number, but there were 3, 400 guys that were free agents and didn’t have any contact with the teams and there was a lot of uncertainty. For me, personally the process isn’t one that I want to get into but my heart was set on coming back here and finishing off my career where I started it. That said, it was an awkward process and it took a little longer than I liked but it’s nice to be back here. It’s nice to be back with a great organization and it’s nice to be back with these guys in this locker room.

ON GETTING  READY  FOR LIVE GAME ACTION:

“For me, I can rely on a lot of experience, but experience will only take you so far. You’€™ve still got to be able to be in the shape and the mindset to go out there and make the play. I’€™m looking forward to getting a lot of reps, getting back after it, seeing a lot of looks in practice. Pushing myself and hopefully the guys around me to do more and more and get better and better. I like to be out there. I like to take every snap in practice. I like to get a feel for the game and how everything’€™s going. So for me it’€™s going to take quite a bit to get myself rolling here and ready to play the real deal. We’€™ve got time to get that done and I’€™m definitely looking forward to it.”

ON THE HIT BUCS SAFETY DEVIN HOLLAND DELIVERED TO DANNY WOODHEAD IN THURSDAY’S GAME:

“That’€™s what I hate being a spectator, for that reason. You watch things like that and No. 1 you’€™re talking about a guy who gives 110 percent on every snap. He’€™s just so much fun to watch. And you see a guy take a hit like that, thank god he bounced back up and got off the field. It’€™s a scary moment, especially for his family and his friends. That’€™s not something you want to watch.”

ON WHETHER OR NOT THE NFL SHOULD PUNISH HOLLAND, WHO WAS NOT PENALIZED ON THE PLAY:

“I don’€™t know how they handle that kind of stuff. I think some of them obviously are clear-cut and those are the ones that we all agree on. The guy definitely made a decision to do something that caused serious damage to the other player. There’€™s a lot of other ones though, that when you watch them, and even in that game last night, there’€™s plays that you think to yourself, more in a defensive mindset, how do you avoid that? It’€™s a timing thing. It’€™s a reactionary type event that took place. I’€™m not sure how they’€™re going to treat that one. He caught him. He wasn’€™t looking. It is what it is. That happens a lot on those kinds of plays. Definitely on special teams. Definitely on interceptions.”

ON KNOWING WHAT’S LEGAL AND ILLEGAL ON THE FIELD:

“I think a lot of what we get, whether it’€™s some of the coaching tapes that we go over or things that the league sends down as far as rules changes and things of that nature, they’€™re doing a pretty good job of educating the guys as to what they’€™re looking to avoid and what they’€™re going to be calling more this year or last year, whatever the case may be. At this point, we are going to have to understand how they call it and what they’€™re going to do and play basically according to those rules. There’€™s always going to be some of it that’€™s going to be a judgment call.”

ON COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL’S DECISION TO SUSPEND TERRELLE PRYOR:

“I try not to look at that, or get involved with too much. I think [Roger Goodell has] an incredible job to do, No. 1. One that I would dare to say the three of us would never want. He makes his decisions and he does what he think is best in the interest of the NFL. And I think, to be quite honest with you, even though I don’€™t agree with everything that’€™s happened, you look back over the years when Roger came in, he had a clear goal to clean up some things and hold guys accountable. All of which I think is OK, not all of which I agree with, but at the end of the day, it’€™s all about that shield. All about that image and sending a clear message. For the most part, he’€™s been able to do that.”

ON BALANCING HIS ROLE AS THE TEAM’S PLAYER REPRESENTATIVE WITH BEING A MEMBER OF THE TEAM:

“My role is purely to help educate the guys about the services and the things that the union can do for them. And make sure that they have every resource at their disposal and then impart whatever message that can make them deem the rest of their advocates to our players. Outside of that, it’€™s not my job to stand up and try to have a debate with my teammates about certain issues and all that stuff. I’€™m a founding board for them and that’€™s pretty much it. Outside of that, when we have our meetings and things whatever we discuss, whatever I say publicly, I’€™ve never made it a personal thing.

“I’€™m not naïve enough to think that there’€™s one side that’€™s right and one side that’€™s wrong. At the end of the day, being around Mr. [Robert] Kraft and our entire organization it’€™s very clear that’€™s it’€™s not just one-sided. And that was evident in what he did at those meetings and how he pulled everyone together and found a way to negotiate when it looked like it wasn’€™t going to happen. My role in the union and what I do for these guys is not as difficult as some people like to make it.”

Read More: Matt Light, New England Patriots, Tampa Bay Buccaneers,
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