FOXBORO (CBS) — There aren’t too many offensive linemen who become household names among fans, but then again, there aren’t too many players who win three Super Bowls in their first four seasons in the NFL.
For that, and for a decade-plus career for the Patriots, the team is honoring Matt Light at halftime of Monday night’s showdown of AFC powerhouses at Gillette Stadium.
“My life is a lot more relaxed. I miss a lot of things about the game of football and tonight’s an awesome opportunity to come back and watch these guys do what they do,” Light said prior to the game. “I think for me it’s just an opportunity to share with my friends and family what’s been an awesome journey.”
Light, who started 153 games for the Patriots between 2001 and ’11, said he certainly doesn’t miss the early-morning “lowlight” film sessions from his playing days, and he said he’s doing all the things that Bill Belichick says players must “put in a drawer” during the season when they’re playing. He did say he misses the one-of-a-kind experience that can only come from playing football at the sport’s highest level.
“Everybody asks me, ‘What do you miss the most?’ I think simply put the thing that I miss the most is competing for something that most people don’t. You do things, it’s almost military precision with which we go about each day and our focus and everything else, and it’s really difficult to find that in the real world,” Light said. “When I look back on it, the thing I miss the most are the people that you’re around, and not just because they’re great people but because they’re incredible at what they do. That’s truly special.”
Regarding his former team, he said he can’t know for sure how the locker room is made up, but several figures from the championship days in New England should make the Patriots contenders for the Super Bowl yet again.
“You know, the coach is pretty good,” Light joked of Belichick before correcting himself to say the coach is “really good.”
“There’s not a whole lot of change,” Light said. “You look at what Josh [McDaniels] brings to the table and having him back and having somebody that is really familiar with not just the scheme but also the rest of the coaching staff and the players, and one player in particular. And I think if you have that one player in particular, Mr. Brady, things are going to be good. So overall, I’d be surprised if they didn’t have what it takes.”