New England Patriots Links 6/18/12 - Mayo: Conditioning, Communication Key to Camp

Jerod Mayo believes staying in top physical condition will give him an edge in Training Camp.

Jashvina Shah reports Jerod Mayo was a guest on WEEI's Mut & Merloni show, discussing his leadership role, good conditioning and more.

"[Dont'a Hightower and Chandler Jones] are coming out ready to work [and] that’s all you can ask," Mayo said. "Those guys come out and work hard, both in the classroom and on the field. Being one of the older guys I just try to lead by example. We have great coaches they can learn from and [they've] got to work hard."

"The goal is to get better, obviously," Mayo said. "We have a lot of talent on our team, but at the same time we have a lot of new faces, so communication is huge. Going out there and competing each and every play is huge. It’s just getting used to the coaches and things like that, especially for these young guys. That’s a big part of the offseason." Added Mayo: "It was difficult at first but that comes back to communication — knowing who you’re on the field with and things like that. I think it was good for us."

"We still did some work," Mayo said. "I don’t think it was a total day off [on the last day of mini-camp]. We got some things done. I think he knows everyone’s been working hard, so guys are going to continue to work hard. It wasn’t a full day off, but it was a pleasant surprise."

"This is a time where you get the edge on everyone else," Mayo said. "You’re going to have some guys who go home and just eat their way out of the league, and you have those guys who go out there and grind and work hard. Just get ready for training camp, that’s the goal."

Andy Hart joins the Sports Tonight crew to talk about his three real concerns for the Patriots heading into the season.

1. Devin McCourty and the Patriots secondary. "[McCourty was the difference last year, he fell of the map. Not only wasn't he a Pro Bowl corner, he wasn't competitive. He wasn't good. I think if he wan't a team captain, a first round pick he wouldn't have been on the field late in the year. What's he going to be in Year [3]? I don't want to be Mr. Doom and Gloom, but in training camp so far I've seen him get beat deep by Brandon Lloyd, I've seen him struggling to make plays in the end zone."

2. Pass rush. "Where does it come from? People forget it was a bad defense last year with two guys who had ten sacks … both those guys right now aren't on the team. There's a lot of excitement, Chandler Jones, Jake Bequette, all these guys, but are you going to get a Pro Bowl player out of that? Because Andre Carter was a Pro Bowl player last year who still may be back when he's healthy. He's still healthy and I still think there's a good chance he plays for them, but is that only midseason?"

3. Offensive tackle. "The only thing that can keep this offense from being the best in the NFL in my opinion with Lloyd and with the tight ends, is the tackle situation. And that's a question mark right now. Matt Light had a phenomenal year, he was sort of the patchwork to get to Solder. They drafted him to be the left tackle. He's going to get the shot this year. But is he going to be great? Is he going to keep Tom Brady clean? And on the other side I think there's a major concern because Vollmer had the back surgery in college, now this is two years in a row the back is still an issue."

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