New England Patriots Links 7/06/12 - Mayo Leads Group of Grinders at Gillette

Jerod Mayo sticks close to his Foxboro home in the offseason.

Mike Rodak notes Jerod Mayo is one of the players who stays close to Gillette Stadium as camp draws near.

"I'm around here. I'm always around here. This is our home," Mayo said. "I see guys in and out. We have a lot of guys that hang around. This is the best place for us to grind, and a lot of guys are doing that."

Mayo made a guest appearance at the Harvard Pilgrim 5k and 10k "Finish at the 50" races at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday evening. Among the runners were former Boston Marathon winner Geoff Smith and well-known wheelchair team Rick and Dick Hoyt.

"I ran five miles a couple weeks ago. The linebackers and I. It's a long way," Mayo said. "But I don't think I could do what these guys are doing and the time that they are doing it. It's very impressive."

Tim Graham (Buffalo News) Top 25 AFC East players. No. 19 Jerod Mayo.

New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has some hardware. He was voted defensive rookie of the year in 2008. After a knee injury hampered him for much of 2009, he came back with a vengeance.

In 2010, Mayo was voted team captain, led the NFL in tackles, was selected first-team All-Pro and made the Pro Bowl. He recorded two sacks, forced one fumble and recovered three.

Then came last season. The Patriots switched to a 4-3 base defense. Mayo missed a couple games with an injury. His production suffered. Tackles aren't an official stat; the NFL tallies them unofficially through its game reports, but teams keep their own numbers. But for an apples-to-apples comparison, if you add up the NFL game reports from 2010, Mayo amassed a league-best 175 tackles, but last season he had just 95 tackles, tied for 46th in the league. He had one sack, although he did snag the first two interceptions of his career.

Still, Mayo remains one of the NFL's best defenders. He had 11 tackles and forced a fumble in the Super Bowl. Even though the New York Giants played one more postseason game than the Patriots did, Mayo led everybody with 28 postseason tackles for a defense that allowed an average of 16.3 points a game.

Fast fact As a senior at Kecoughtan High in Hampton, Va., Mayo played seven games at running back. He rushed for 1,245 yards and scored 13 touchdowns and five two-point conversions.

TEAM TALK

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