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New England Patriots Links 1/26/11 - Jerod Mayo Hopes To Learn From Ray Lewis

Karen Guregian reports from the Pro Bowl, saying Jerod Mayo has big plans to meet with future Hall-of-Famer Ray Lewis to learn how he can improve his game.

"He seemed like a good guy," Mayo said. "It was a quick meet-and-greet. But he welcomed me with open arms, and we’re going to get together and talk."

"He’s just someone I’ve been wanting to sit down with, and talk with, and pick his brain," said Mayo, who flew in from Boston yesterday. "I’ve watched him and just want to see how he’s been able to do what he’s done for so long that’s so amazing to me, and take what I can from him."

"Hey, I’m absolutely sure I can learn something from him," Mayo said. "Even if it’s something small, it’ll be good to hear what he has to say."

Karen Guregian reports Wes Welker expected much more from himself in 2010, and doesn't want to hear about the "excuse" that he was coming off a major knee injury.

"You know what? For me, I feel like it was a disappointing year for myself," Welker said. "I feel like I didn’t play my best ball. And I’m sure there are a lot of factors that come into that. Having that kind of year definitely drives me. It makes me want to be better than I was. You go into an offseason thinking about what you can do to get better, and there’s plenty of things I can do to have a better year."

"It’s been over a year and a half straight of getting after it, so I’m ready for a break," Welker said. "But then I need to get back to work. The knee feels great and everything, but it can definitely get better and stronger. I just think my body as a whole needs to get back in tip-top shape. It’s hard to do that when you’re trying to take it easy on your knee, or you don’t run because your knee’s bothering you. So I think I’ll be able to push my body more in the offseason to get ready for next season."

Ian Rapoport notes Bill Belichick will inherit a sidekick for Pro Bowl week, Hiroyuki Yabe the Japanese Coaching Ambassador at Weseda University.

"When I found out the AFC coach was coach Belichick, all of sudden, I started foaming in my mouth," Hiro said, speaking through an interpreter. "I didn’t know what to say. Of course I know coach Belichick is one of the top coaches in the NFL. This is a fantastic opportunity for myself. I’m looking forward to it."

What does he hope to take from Belichick? "How to put together a strong team, and how to win, and take that knowledge back to Japan," said Hiro.