Patriots: Judon ready to roll in his second season with New England

Prior to positional drills starting on Wednesday morning during Day 2 of mandatory mini-camp, linebacker Matthew Judon was belting out the words to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer,” grabbing teammates by the shoulder pads, trying to get them to join in.

Judon wasn’t around for the voluntary OTA’s, but over the last two days he’s brought the energy early and often. Now in his second year with the Patriots, Judon understandably feels even more “at home” than he did a year ago at this time after signing as a free agent. The biggest difference? Communication.

“So much more,” he said after practice when asked how much more comfortable he was. “We’re all speaking the same language. I can talk to my coaches differently than I could this time last year. We’re reading the same book, same language, we’re on the same page now. Now, we can expand on what we did last year.”

Comfortable doesn’t necessarily mean improvement, and this defense needs to show improvement from last year. Judon knows that and is cautiously optimistic about the strides he and the rest of the unit can take this season. There are new faces in the locker room now as well, so that improvement is going to take some time.

“I think we’re going to be good, but we’ve gotta see,” he said. “We’ve gotta see. I enjoy spending time with everybody in the locker room and I’m just glad to be back…everything is different. We’ve got a different locker room, we’re going to have a different team this year, so I’m just enjoying the moments.”

Judon is always trying to lighten the mood and get guys to smile, which is obviously a valuable asset to have in the locker room. Perhaps the best quality guys can gravitate to is Judon’s appreciation for every day. Even after a hot, sweaty, two-hour practice session, No. 9 and the ruler of swag in the locker room was even happy to be talking with the media.

“I’m so blessed just to be sitting up here at the podium talking to y’all,” he added. “I’m always going to be good, hopefully it’s going to be the same for everybody else, through any circumstance we’re going through.”