Patriots

Hardworking, tough, professional: Guy has earned Belichick's respect

FOXBORO -- Lawrence Guy doesn't have quite the same frame as someone like Alan Branch or Malcom Brown, but the Patriots clearly don't mind using him at some of the same spots where those players typically hunker down.

At 6-foot-4, 305 pounds, Guy is large enough to fill your standard door frame. But in the modern NFL -- and particularly in the Patriots defense -- players who play on the interior in running situations tend to run at least 15-20 pounds heavier. Brown is listed at 320 pounds. Branch, whose size is rare even for professional football, checks in at 350. 

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But with good length and power, and with the savvy to be able to play multiple spots in Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia's front, Guy has been the team's most durable and consistent interior defensive lineman this season. He's at his best as a five-technique, but he's kicked inside and even spent some time at nose tackle against the Chargers in Week 8.

Color Belichick impressed.

"Lawrence is out there every day," Belichick said on Wednesday. "He's a hardworking guy, he's tough, very professional, comes to work every day, works hard, wants to know what you want him to do and tries to do it the best that he can and works very hard at it."

The former Ravens lineman has played in 55 percent of Patriots snaps this season, which would be a career-high percentage-wise for him. In five seasons in Baltimore, Guy, 27, never cracked the 50-percent mark. His 294 total snaps are most among Patriots interior linemen, ahead of Brown (278), Branch (152) and Vincent Valentine (injured reserve). 

If Brown continues to miss time with an ankle injury he suffered in Week 7 against the Falcons -- he did not play against the Chargers and he missed Wednesday's practice -- Guy will be one of the players the Patriots continue to count on inside. The Patriots signed Ricky Jean-Francois this week in order to help supplement what they have on the interior, but Guy's dependability has clearly earned him a sizable weekly role.

"I have a lot of respect for him and the way he's approached everything all year -- new team, new situation, but he's embraced it and has really given us a great effort every single day," Belichick said of Guy. "Not just on Sunday, but every day he's come in and done everything he can do to be a better player to try to help the team."