"We’re a very multiple defense: One week, we might come out with pressure, the next week, we may come out sitting back in coverage. You never know. I think that’s a good quality of this defense," Mayo said before practice Tuesday afternoon.
"Like I said, we’re very multiple," he said. "One week, we may bring a lot of guys, next week, we may drop a lot of guys. There’s no telling what coach [Bill] Belichick is drawing up in that office right now."
"We did a good job executing the game plan that coach Belichick had, [but] it changes every week."
Regardless of the scheme, those plans include a heavy dose of Mayo. The 25-year-old Pro Bowl linebacker, coming off another standout season, isn’t getting too comfortable with his role.
"To be honest with you, that’s up to Coach Belichick to evaluate us," said Mayo, who was recently ranked No. 62 in the NFL Network’s countdown of the Top 100 players in the game. "You think you go out there and have a good practice, then all of a sudden you watch the film and it’s not as good as you thought it was, or not as bad as you thought it was. That’s up to those guys."
"Hopefully I’ll make the team, though," he added with a smile.
"Things I’ve been doing, just going out practicing, going through individual [drills], in the training room, weight lifting, just trying to become more explosive and those type of things that can carry me throughout a game," said Ellis, who has 72 sacks and 13 forced fumbles in his previous 11 NFL seasons, all with the Jets.
"I think it’s very important, timing, being able to roll off [blocks], get into contact, with the off-season and the lockout, I think the preseason is very important to us to get our timing, get our steps down and being able to communicate among one another with the defense.
"Your technique is what takes you. It keeps you protected. You’re able to process things a lot faster when you’re using proper technique so with us not being able to go through that, it’s just one of those things where we have to get extra reps in. Of course, playing in the games will speed that up."
"So the time to build those is early in the season and you hope that you have a good base and that your overall playing – that you can keep those skills sharp, and I think that’s pretty much the way it’s been in the NFL. I think that’s still the way it is. So the more time you… and the better those skills are going into the season usually – the longer you’re going to sustain them."
- Erik Scalavino tells us what happened at Tuesday's practice, with Danny Woodhead returning to his senses after Thursday's vicious hit.
- Erik Scalavino reports the Patriots D-line is causing a domino effect.
- Ask PFW: Camp breaks, but preparation rolls on.
- Press Conference: Bill Belichick (12.07 min. video) plus Transcript.
- Patriots Today - Haynesworth back on the field. (1 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Talking Albert, training tapes. (2.42 min. video)
- Patriots Today - Wilfork energized for the season. (3.17 min. video)
- Locker Room Uncut - Defensive players' thoughts. (1.46 min. video)
- Karen Guregian mentions the pressure on the O-line to protect Tom Brady from Ndamukong Suh and the Lions' fierce pass rush.
- Monique Wallker says this third preseason game should provide a meaningful test to see just how stout the offensive line can be against a hefty defense.
- Christopher Price points out just how hard it is for new guys to grasp the Patriots passing attack.
- Mike Reiss talks about the value of Chad Ochocinco watching footage from past Patriots games and Randy Moss.
- Ian Rapoport notes Albert Haynesworth's "clean start" began yesterday, running drills in full pads with his teammates after a 19 day break.
- Chris Forsberg reports Shaun Ellis engaged in his first full-pads practice Tuesday, but Ellis stressed how much the meeting room has prepped him for game action.
- Mike Reiss focuses on five players who have done the most to solidify their standing on the team, and five who have slipped.
- Zuri Berry offers her take on who will make the final cut.
- Jeff Howe notes the Patriots are excited about their progress but know they're not ready for the regular season just yet.
- Mike Reiss offers a few quick hits from the Patriots continuing preparations for Saturday night's preseason game against the Lions.
- Jeff Howe thinks Brandon Spikes Twitter account has taken some controversial twists and turns lately, and 19 other Patriots thoughts.
- Chad Finn can't find anything to be snarky or snide about, and goes all in for the Patriots this year.
- Ricky Doyle reports Chad Ochocinco challenged Michael Vick to a game of Madden, saying the loser has to give his first game-check to charity.
- Kirk Minihane highlights Michael Lombardi's guest appearance on WEEI tuesday.
- Monique Wallker Patriots Notebook: Albert Haynesworth practiced yesterday for the first time in over two weeks; Danny Woodhead returned to practice, and a list of players who continue to be out; Leigh Bodden is "doing fine" and "where he needs to be" according to Belichick; Jerod Mayo thinks the best part of the defense is its multiple looks; Belichick explains the process of installing a play to the team.
- Ian Rapoport Patriots Notebook: Chad Ochocinco has been doing his homework, watching old game film to understand the offense better; the defense is already showing signs of improvement over last year - the unit's play on third down; plus player practice participation update.
- MJD (Yahoo! Sports) Bill Belichick wants the extra point to die.
- Michael Irvin (NFL.com) Rex Ryan: 'I want what Bill Belichick's got' (1 min. video clip)
- Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) Breakout stars for every NFL team in 2011. Patriots: Stevan Ridley.
The Daily (Fox Sports) Here are the 20 most important players in the NFL. Brady #3.
- Michael Rosenberg (Detroit Free Press) Patriots will test Lions QB Matthew Stafford.
- Nick Meyer (Detroit Free Press) Saturday's game between Lions and Patriots a sellout.
- Peter King (SI) MMQB Tuesday edition: Raiders paid a steep price for Pryor in supplemental draft; reader mail.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) NFL knows it needs big crowds to make for good TV.
- Gregg Rosenthal (ProFootballTalk) Heath Evans retires, joins NFL Network.