With opening day almost two months away and training camp not starting until later this month, we are still caught in possibly the most quiet part of the NFL offseason. However, while the football world seemingly turns slower these days it does not stop.
During workouts and studying sessions, players still have a chance to lay the foundation for their spots on the team. Over the course of the next few months, we will take a look at the men fighting for them on the 2017 New England Patriots. 53 of currently 90 players will be asked to help the team defend its Super Bowl title.
Today, we will continue the series with one of the Patriots’ starting offensive linemen.
Name: Shaq Mason
Position: Offensive guard
Jersey number: 69
Opening day age: 24
Size: 6’1, 310 lbs.
2016 review: After playing on both the left and right side of the offensive line early in his rookie season, Shaq Mason established himself as the Patriots’ starting right guard during the 2015 playoffs. Entering the 2016 season, the Georgia Tech product was therefore the favorite to earn the role again – and over the course of his second NFL offseason he was able to do just that.
Mason’s season did not start on the right track, though: During New England’s second preseason game, he broke his hand and as a result was forced into a rotational role during the team’s first two games of the season. From week three onwards, however, Mason played all but a handful of the Patriots’ offensive snaps and ultimately finished the regular season with a 91.0% playing time percentage (1,019 of 1,120) and was also on the field for all 242 of New England’s…
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