Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi, speaking at his eighth annual Spaulding Rehabilitation golf tournament, spoke about several topics, including Ty Law, the tournament itself, and current Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo. Bruschi’s comments about Mayo in particular were interesting, in that Bruschi made a bold prediction about Mayo’s future. Bruschi declared that Mayo will be the best linebacker in the NFL within two years. Here’s Bruschi’s comments on Mayo:
“He’s done things in his short career with the Patriots that I wasn’t able to do until my eighth or ninth year. That’s how far along he is. I truly see him being the best linebacker in the game within two years. I think that’s how good he is. I know that’s me being a former player of the New England Patriots, and a former teammate, but I think I pride myself on the ability to evaluate certain players. What he does, and what they are able to do with him, no matter what defensive scheme they run, that’s very difficult to do in that system. The day that he came into New England, I knew ‘This guy is next in line.’”
Those are pretty powerful comments. One thing that is evident is that Mayo has been a solid, consistent linebacker and a leader of the Patriots’ youthful defense. While he’s been lacking with big plays (3.5 career sacks, 0 INT, 3 forced fumbles), his high career total in tackles (406) shows his consistency. Here are his career numbers year by year:
- 2010: 175 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 forced fumble
- 2009: 70 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 1 FF*
- 2008: 128 tackles, 1 FF
*In 2009, Mayo played in 13 games, starting 12, due to injury. He played and started in all 16 games in 2008 (his rookie season) and 2010.