Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo was one of the many defenders lost to injury in 2013, and his loss may have hurt New England the most. He is a terrific linebacker, and an even better leader. The Pats will really benefit from his presence on the field this coming season.
Mayo took a few minutes after yesterday’s practice to talk with the media:
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On what Browner and Revis do to change what the Pats do on defense:
"Honestly, it has been one day of practice out here. We have a lot of different schemes and plays to put in so ask me that in a couple of weeks and I’ll let you know."
On James Anderson:
"He’s a cool guy; obviously he’s a veteran and has played a lot of football in this league so I can learn a lot from him. He comes to work every day and studies well in the classroom."
On dealing with new faces, and players coming back from injury:
"Every year is a different team, so you have to do that every training camp. Obviously we had a lot of injuries last year but it’s all about this year and the guys that we have now. It’s no different than any other year."
On the differences between going to camp as a rookie, and as a veteran:
"It’s been a long time since I’ve been a rookie. It’s not really that big of a difference. Obviously, it’s a little bit of a shock but at the same time everyone is out here fighting for a job. It doesn’t matter if this is your 10th year or your first year; we are all out here competing against each other trying to get better."
On what it feels like to be out on the first day of camp:
"It’s always good to get back outside and play football. This is the game that we love to play. I love going out here with the guys and trying to get better each and every day. It’s a good feeling."
On his relationship with former Patriot Brandon Spikes:
"I still talk to him but at this time I can only care about the guys that are here right now. He’s obviously not here with us now, so ask me about any of the guys here that are on this team."
The common theme among all the Patriots players that talked at camp yesterday, is a general feeling of excitement in getting back to work. The NFL offseason is a long one, and even though football is an extremely physical sport, I think these guys miss the long layoff, and just want to play more ball.
New England has a lot of talent, specifically the defense. These next few weeks are where they can put in a good foundation for the rest of the year, and make sure they continue to play well, hopefully through February. As a leader of the defense, Jerod Mayo will be counted on to keep this unit together, and give their best week in, and week out.