Mike Reiss catches up with Jerod Mayo recently to discuss a variety of off-season topics.
How much responsibility do you feel to keep everyone together because you're a captain?
"I don’t think it’s more responsibility, but at the same time, you have to keep everyone accountable. I know Vince [Wilfork] is calling guys, and I know Tom [Brady] is e-mailing guys and calling guys. Everybody is holding each other accountable. Right now, it’s what team can beat the lockout. It’s kind of 'you against the lockout.'"
For you personally, what steps would you like to take in 2011?
"Just continuing learning the defense, making more adjustments on the fly, just the overall communication between the young guys and some of the older guys. We have a young defense, and we’re all trying to learn. I think that’s the one thing with the lockout, it kind of hinders you from doing the things you need to do at OTAs [organized team activities] and the minicamps and things like that. At the same time, I’m staying in communication, making sure guys are learning the defense still, and hopefully we’ll be ready to go."
How can this defense get better?
"We lived off turnovers last year. We can’t give up as many yards as we did last year. We have the talent. For me personally, it’s me getting everybody in the right position every play. There can’t be that one play or things like that. We have to be more consistent."
We hear a lot about the first-to-second year jump. How will that affect players like Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham and others?
"I think it will affect them as much as they let it affect them. They have the film, they have the equipment to get things done, and I know those guys are taking it serious trying to make that second-year leap."
Shalise Manza Young talks with Bill Belichick and notes that the Patriots haven't altered their approach to the Draft even though this year it comes before free agency opens.
"I don’t feel like we’ve ever gone in saying, ‘We have to draft this position, draft that position,’ ’’ said Belichick. "It’s definitely a different process and position to have not signed the six or eight free agents from our team [or] another team at this point. I think it makes your roster look a little bit different, but I think draft-wise, you have to get the best players for your team."
"If there’s value there, that’s great, but if you try to force players into positions you end up having to look for the same players the next year. We’ll go through the same process and try to draft the players that we think will help our team the most. But it is different in that free agency hasn’t happened yet.’’
- Paul Perillo and Andy Hart debate whether the Patriots should stay put or trade up in the Draft.
Patriots Football Weekly writers break down defensive line and defensive backs.
- Patriots Today - Robinson takes you inside the draft. (4.30 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Bruschi adds draft insight. (3.08 min. video)
- Patriots Roster Report - What New England will do in the upcoming draft. (12 min. program)
- Greg A. Bedard reports Bill Belichick will be directing his 12th draft with New England, having made 101 selections and 42 draft-day trades.
- Boston Globe offers an interactive breakdown of Bill Belichick's draft history with the Patriots.
- Tom E. Curran reports Jerod Mayo notes how important it was to have the mentoring of Bruschi and Vrabel when he entered league.
- Tom E. Curran talks with Jerod Mayo, Pat Chung and Dane Fletcher "most miserable experience of my life" about what their draft day was like. (1.28 min. video).
- Karen Guregian reports Aaron Hernandez wants to give back to the community, particularly as one of the few Latinos in the NFL.
- Karen Guregian reports on what Vince Wilfork has been up to during the lockout: keeping in shape, planting his garden and preparing for his Draft Day Fundraiser.
- Mike Reiss offers some quick-hit thoughts from around the NFL and with the Patriots.
- Greg A. Bedard pays tribute to Bert Bell, the former NFL commissioner who started the Draft 75 years ago.
- Christopher Price explores the possibility of the Patriots taking RB Mark Ingram (Alabama) in the first round.
- Ian Rapoport notes BenJarvus Green-Ellis isn't worrying about the Patriots drafting Mark Ingram.
- Ian Rapoport sees an opportunity in the Draft for the Patriots to reinforce their guard corps.
- Ian Rapoport lists five guards the Patriots might select in this year's draft.
- Jeff Howe thinks G Danny Watkins (Baylor) could step right in for Logan Mankins.
- Mike Reiss projects possible Patriots: C/G John Moffitt (Wisconsin), DE Muhammad Wilkerson (Temple) and DE/OLB Brooks Reed (Arizona).
- Karen Guregian scouts OL Brandon Fusco (Slippery Rock University), "the Danny Woodhead of offensive linemen".
- Greg A. Bedard gives us the background of draft prospect WR Torrey Smith (University of Maryland).
- Boston Globe looks at a sample of the players the Patriots have worked out and who would fit into New England's schemes by need.
- Mike Reiss analyzes the seven-round mock draft of Russ Lande of the Sporting News, and the nine players he selected for the Patriots.
- Michael Smith of ESPN hosted a Patriots Draft Special put on by he Patriots and ESPNBoston at Gillette Stadium. (3.40 min. clip.)
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Team needs: New England Patriots.
- William Bendetson (CBS Sports) Will Patriots come up snake eyes on draft night?
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Tracking starters in recent AFC East drafts.
- Jeff Latzke, AP (Oklahoma City) Pats' Welker enjoying freedom of NFL lockout.
- Aaron Wilson (Nat'l Football Post) Ron Brace Q&A: Talking football with Patriots defensive lineman.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB: Excitement, uncertainty encompass NFL as draft begins.
- Dan Pompei (Nat'l Football Post) Sunday Blitz.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Mark Ingram could be just what the Patriots need.
- Nate Davis (USA Today) NFL: Record 25 players to attend Draft at Radio City Music Hall.
- Chris Chase (Yahoo! Sports) Ranking the 32 former players who will announce picks at NFL draft.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) Five potential first-round trades.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Grading the 2010 first-round picks.
- Adam Schein (Fox Sports) NFL execs sending smoke screens.
- Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) Draft not all glitz for team executives.
- Gil Brandt (NFL.com) Defensive linemen dominate final Hot 100 before Draft.
- Brian Billick (Fox Sports) Billick ranks top 50 NFL draft prospects.
- concussion test. (Nat'l Football Post) Why players 'cheat' the
- Steve Wyche (NFL.com) No communication between players, teams might become issue.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Many players apparently don't realize that Kessler is attacking the draft.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League execs talk about an NFL with no rules, no CBA.
- Anthony Stalter (Washington Post) Why it's in the NFL owners' best interest to stall.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) At least one agent wants no draft at all.
- Rick Mese (Washington Post) Locked out: NFL agent Joby Branion draws strength from past to advise football stars.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) NFL could cancel Weeks 2 and 4 without losing any divisional games.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) All NFL employees have taken 12% pay cut.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Law firm addresses NFL conflict of interest issue.