Why did Trevor Scott pick the Patriots? They’re ‘natural-born winners’
|05.03.12 at 11:35 pm ET|
FOXBORO — Trevor Scott has a good memory.
Asked Thursday about his 2008 game against the Patriots as a rookie with the Raiders, he allowed himself a small smile. That was a contest where he brought down New England quarterback Matt Cassel twice in a game that was a muddy mess out in Oakland.
‘I was just reminded of that the other day. It was my rookie year,’ he said. ‘Pretty disastrous game — the weather was just awful. I remember that.’
And the sacks?
‘Yeah, too bad it wasn’t [Tom] Brady,’ he added with a laugh.
A 6-foot-5, 255-pound defensive end/outside linebacker who was taken by the Raiders in the sixth round of the 2008 draft out of Buffalo, Scott spent the last four seasons with Oakland before signing a one-year deal with the Patriots as a free agent in March.
His best season came in 2009 when he had 43 tackles (38 solo) and seven sacks for the Raiders. In all, the converted tight end has 13.5 sacks in four seasons with Oakland.
In between workouts Thursday at Gillette Stadium, Scott sounded like a guy who was targeted by the Patriots early on in the free-agent process. Asked if there was an opportunity to take visits with other teams, he shrugged.
‘Not really,’ said the 27-year-old. ‘I was just glad things ended up the way they did, right off the bat, so I could put it behind me and what better way to start than to come to an organization like this.
‘You just know what to expect when you come here. Natural-born winners. They want to compete for the Super Bowl every year. To come in here, I’m going to have big shoes to fill.’
Scott will likely be filling the shoes of Mark Anderson, who finished last season with 10 sacks, but departed as a free agent. He could also provide some support as a pass rusher, depending on whether or not veteran Andre Carter does return. Regardless, he would love to return to his 2009 form — a torn ACL in 2010 left him on IR, and he has struggled to regain his pre-injury state, saying he ‘definitely’ plans on returning to his pre-injury level of production.
‘I mean, it was what it was. That’s the name of the game,’ he said. ‘I’ve seen a lot of different things in he league, and like I said, I’m just glad to be here and to start over.’
He said the transition from Oakland to New England has been ‘pretty good, so far,’ said Scott, helped out by the fact that former Raiders’ offensive lineman Robert Gallery was also picked up by the Patriots this offseason.
‘I mean, there’s a great atmosphere here, don’t get me wrong. There’s also a great atmosphere in Oakland. I’m just glad for the new opportunity,’ he said. ‘[Gallery and I are] just hanging together as we get to know all of the guys, but all the guys are really nice and pretty cool and guys are taking me under their wing and showing me the ropes and stuff.
‘We’ve just been working. Just different position stuff. That’s been cool. Getting to meet the coaches, on and off the field. We’ve definitely been working hard, that’s for sure,’ he added. ‘They just play the game the way the game is supposed to be played — hard and tough football. You can tell that through their play. They’re great leaders on and off the field.’
Here are some other highlights of the Q&A:
On the death of Junior Seau: ‘I just wanted to say to his family my deepest condolences. It’s definitely a tragedy. I didn’t know him. I knew of him. I knew he was great, fantastic football player. Like I said, it’s definitely a tragedy. … People are just saying that we can’t believe it. It’s just one of those things that still hasn’t hit people yet. Like I said, I didn’t know him, but at the same time, it’s definitely a sad day.’
Is there now an increased awareness about concussions? ‘I definitely think over the years players are more aware of concussions, just because of the long-term effects, but at the same time, come game-day, you’re not thinking about concussions and stuff like that. You’re just thinking about winning and being productive. Concussions are going to happen. They try and make new helmets and different types of things here and there to try and prevent concussions, and that’s great. Don’t get me wrong. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be a part of football. There’s always going to be head-to-head collisions. You can’t prevent that.’
These days are different. ‘Definitely. It’s not like it was. If you even mention a headache, you’re … they’re taking your helmet away from you. They’re not joking around any more about concussions.’
Thoughts on working with defensive line coach Pepper Johnson? ‘Oh, I love him. He’s a great guy. He’s definitely a no-BS type of guy and that’s what I like.’
You made the transformation from tight end to defensive line: ‘Yep, back in 2006. … First, I was shocked. I was a backup tight end and we ran a lot of double tight end stuff, but I was still the backup. [Coach Turner Gill] was just like ‘OK, we’re going to start you right off the bat. Just get ready.’ I took it and ran with it. I always had more of a defensive mindset, so I loved the transition.’
The Patriots have had defensive players work as tight ends before in New England: (laughs) ‘If that were to happen, I’d take it with open arms. My role is that I’ll just want to get on the field any way I can.’