Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Bill Belichick calls Davon Godchaux ‘one of the best’ D-linemen in the NFL after Patriots reach extension

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — After the Patriots put a bow on Day 1 of training camp, the club also put the finishing touches on a new deal for defensive lineman Davon Godchaux. It was reported on Wednesday that the team had inked the 27-year-old to a two-year extension worth $20.8 million and included $17.85 million fully guaranteed at signing. The next morning, just before the start of the second day of camp, Godchaux received tremendous praise from Bill Belichick, who put him among the very best at his position. 

“He’s one of the best defensive linemen in the league,” said Belichick. “Glad we were able to work that out with Davon and [his agent] Drew Rosenhaus. Obviously, both sides are happy, contract’s signed, you know. Go forward.” 

Godchaux initially found his way to Foxborough as a free agent last offseason. During his first season with the Patriots, the former fifth-round pick out of LSU put together a productive campaign, totaling 65 tackles and one sack. He was also stellar against the run and ranked just outside the top 20 of Pro Football Focus’ highest-graded defensive linemen against the run last year. 

“It shows appreciation of all the hard work,” Godchaux said Thursday in response to Belichick’s declaration. “Fourth year in the league, coming off a biceps injury, coming to an organization like this, a lot was expected. … There was a lot expected of me and I wanted to make sure that I lived up to those expectations each and every day. I’m glad to get the praise from Bill but there’s more work to do, there’s still more countless hours on the field, countless time in the meeting room with the coaches. There’s still more work to do.”

He added: “I feel like when I first started here this was home, coming from Miami with Coach [Brian] Flores ran the same system, and I came here and I feel like I was a plug and play, I fit right in.” 

While Godchaux may have enjoyed an easier transition during his first season with the Patriots thanks to his time in Miami under Brian Flores — who was the de facto defensive coordinator in New England before taking the Dolphins job — he’s looking for more “growth” as he enters his second season in the system. 

“I’m still learning entering Year 6,” he said. “A lot of people look at me like an old guy but I look at me, I’m still young. I’ve been starting all six years in the league, thank God. Just keep the leadership, I’m not really a big rah-rah guy, I’m more leading by example, leading the first one in drills. I’m not really a guy who’s going jump in your face, that’s never been me, I’m always a guy who is gonna lead by example.” 

On top of growing as a leader, Godchaux noted that he’s aiming to improve at rushing the passer going forward. 

And, while he may be a bit richer on Day 2 of camp than he was on Day 1, complacency isn’t an option. 

“I’m the same person every day, you can ask each one of my teammates,” he said. “I’m never going to let the money change me. Still the same person, still the same hunger. Each and every day, I’m going to play the same way … get better every day, come with the same attitude. You know, be the first one in line. I’m going to be the same me every day, so I’m happy but not satisfied.”

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