Middle linebacker and defensive team captain Jerod Mayo is hungry. He is tired of quitters. Mayo wants a team of players committed to greatness and a team with a single desire of winning a championship. The first step happened on Monday when the New England Patriots began their off-season strength training. No footballs, just work outs. Mayo knows just how important this part of the off-season is.
"Conditioning is a big part of football," he said. "We lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter and that’s one thing we have to change. It starts now. ... You can tell from the guys that were here before we had to report that people are really hungry to get back at it and start the new season."
The part that sticks out to me is the line:
You can tell from the guys that were here before we had to report...
The guys who are there are the players on the team that are here to win. We all can point fingers in a certain LB's direction and figure out who wants to win, but we also, as much I hate to admit this one, point one towards Randy Moss and ask why he wasn't there. NT Vince Wilfork made it clear that the only players he wanted to work with on and off the field were people who were willing to commit early to winning. The fact that 40 players showed up is an extremely positive sign that we have a core of players who realize, most likely due to last seasons early playoff exit, that they need to give 100% year-round if they wish to win the big game.
We all know how Mayo wants to become a more vocal leader this year.
Let's hope he lives up to his words.