(CBS Local)- Tom Brady is back in the Super Bowl for the 10th time, but it’s the first away from New England. After 20 years with the Patriots, it will be a bit strange to see Brady on the biggest stage wearing a different uniform. But, Pats defensive end Lawrence Guy says he’s still rooting for TB12.
“Of course. I am, me personally, I’m rooting for Tom,” said Guy in an interview with CBS Local’s Ryan Mayer during Super Bowl week. “Not because he was a teammate of mine, not because he was a brother on a team of mine. It’s because of what his accomplishments are and the legacy he’s leaving behind. I have said this multiple times now and I truly believe it. When you lay roots into a business like he has, it makes people strive to be better than him. Like (Michael) Jordan. For Kobe, it was Jordan. Kobe said, ‘I want to be better than Jordan.’ You have players who are going to take his
accomplishments, the Super Bowl wins, and try to get there.”
Guy was a teammate of Brady’s for two of the Super Bowl appearances, a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII and the win over the Los Angeles Rams the following year in Super Bowl LIII. From Guy’s perspective, the thing he remembers most about Brady’s preparation is the calm with which he dealt with everything.
“The cool demeanor, everything was just calm. Having an understanding of the team. You have two weeks to prepare. He’s been to so many Super Bowls he understands, it’s just another game. You take it as that, it’s just another game. You’re going to be upset if you lose and be happy if you win. Only difference is, you get a trophy at this game and if you don’t win you don’t get the trophy,” said Guy. “The preparation was the same. He prepares on the flight, he goes in there with every detail you need to have. This is what might hurt us. This won’t hurt us. Tom’s an extra coach. The coaching aspect of what he’s able to do, it’s special. Not a lot of other players are able to do that. He’s able to do that as he’s playing.”
That calmness is difficult to maintain in the spectacle that is the Super Bowl. As Guy points out, you hear coaches and players tell others all the time to ‘enjoy the moment.’ But that can be hard to do in the environment that comes with the game. Guy points to the normal rhythm of a game that is different in the Super Bowl because of all the pageantry.
“Bill (Belichick) harps on this a lot and you don’t get it until you experience it. You have 25-30 minutes before the game starts that you’re just sitting on the field,” said Guy. “Normally you come out, boom this team is here, this team is there, national anthem, kickoff. You have all this other stuff, the nominees, everything and that’s just time when you’re standing and your legs get a little lazy.”
Add in the extra television timeouts, longer intervals during time outs, the halftime show, it’s quite different from a regular season game.
On top of all of the difference in routine during, the build up in the week of is much different because you have family coming to town, getting tickets for them, making sure they’re staying in the right hotel, etc. Which is why Guy says Brady’s experience in having been through all this should help alleviate some of the stress for his teammates.
But, there’s plenty of stress to be had in the matchup the Buccaneers face in the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs. As a member of the Patriots, Guy has faced Patrick Mahomes multiple times now and says what makes him so hard to defend is his spatial awareness and poise in the pocket.
“People wonder, what makes that man a great quarterback? It’s not the ability to throw the ball, the ability to throw across his body, it’s the ability to understand where he’s at in his surroundings and never panic,” said Guy. “Panicking kills every player. The nervousness or ‘I’m just not confident anymore’, you don’t see that out of Mahomes. He’ll get out of the pocket, he’ll read the field. He’ll understand and he’ll wait for other players to panic. You’ll see people panicking, come out of coverage going, ‘oh I need to get to him, he’s going to run the ball.’ And he’s calm in his demeanor just throws the ball right there.”
Those plays have been plentiful in Kansas City’s run both last year and this season. Having a matchup like Brady versus Mahomes makes for a game that Guy is pumped to watch like the rest of us.
“It’s going to be an exciting one. It’s going to be one you want to watch with your family and talk about for awhile,” said Guy.
For Guy, he’ll be doing so at home with some homemade jalapeno poppers that he makes on the grill. Check out the tail end of the interview for his recipe.