On the Monday of this week last year, Patriots players were already at Gillette Stadium for Day 1 of the team's offseason program.
Those who follow cornerback Darius Butler on Twitter might remember his 7 a.m. Tweet, "Early Bird gets the worm ... Weight room." Defensive lineman Vince Wilfork also touched on the importance of the team working out together, because that is where the foundation for the season is created. Reporters also focused on the feel-good story of receiver David Patten trying to make the club.
There are none of those stories this year, which is one of the first major changes affecting players as a result of the NFL lockout.
The discipline of players will now be challenged as they work out on their own until the sides reach an agreement.
"I'll still keep working out," linebacker Gary Guyton told the Savannah Morning News. "I'll still keep doing what I've got to do on my normal pace, my normal schedule. We'll just have to wait and see what happens."