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New England Patriots Links 7/07/11 - Jerod Mayo: "I Gotta Go Out And Get Better"

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<em>Mayo doesn't even have to touch a quarterback to make him cough up the ball and fall to the ground</em>.
Mayo doesn't even have to touch a quarterback to make him cough up the ball and fall to the ground.

Ian Rapoport highlights Jerod Mayo's guest appearance on WEEI this week.

On following the lockout news: "I was living and dying with it. It’s like an emotional rollercoaster, pretty much. At the end of the day, I’m just waiting for the big news, here with my teammates working out and things like that. I’m not really a die-hard watcher right now. I’m kinda drained from the emotional rollercoaster we’ve taken along the way."

On if it will be different when the players return to their stadiums: "I can only speak for the Patriots and after keeping in touch with the rest of my teammates, guys are really working hard and things like that. But at the end of the day, you won’t know the kind of shape guys are in until they come to Foxboro. I think, when a deal finally does get done, you have to take a look at what kind of shape guys are in and proceed like that."

On the praise from Bill Belichick on the NFL Network: "That’s not the norm at all. Anybody who knows Bill Belichick knows it’s kinda hard to get compliments like that. I’m gonna save those, post them on my wall, but at the end of the day, I gotta go out and get better."

On the younger players not really having an offseason: "To be honest, I think it sets them back a little bit. I know I learned a lot coming in a rookie just being with the older guys, not only being with Coach (Matt) Patricia, but just being with the (Tedy) Bruschis and Mike Vrabels and things like that, and learning how to play football, how to be professional on and off the field and those guys really showed me how to break down film and doing things like that during the offseason, watching the previous year. Even though you’re a rookie, you still watch the previous year. Just doing things like that, you really learn a lot about the system, you learn a lot about your teammates. Just the overall camaraderie is kinda missing right now. But at the end of the day, it’s going to be a crash course when those guys get here, because the time puts them behind the 8-ball a little bit."

On the Patriots being self-starters: "I think we’re close to the top, to be honest with you. Coach Belichick really instills that work ethic when you’re a rookie coming in, so you have to learn the Patriot Way. The Patriot Way is do the right thing when no one’s looking. Got to have that mental toughness like that. And for the most part, this team has that. Unfortunately, not having the rookies in here, they’re going to have to follow the leaders, but those guys have been doing an excellent job of that as well."

On 2nd-year players ready to make the leap: "We have a lot of good young players, a lot of players that are working hard. I got to say, the linebacker group, I’ll go with Jermaine (Cunningham) and (Brandon) Spikes and even (Dane) Fletcher. That group of young linebackers, they came in… I know you guys will say, ‘Of course, you’ll say the linebacker group,’ but those guys came in and they learned the system and have been working hard ever since."

On Belichick not drafting an edge rusher early: "What does it say about the group of guys we have there? It says a lot. I always like when Coach Belichick makes decisions like that. It shows the trust he has in us. The same thing that happened with the Colts game. — How come Bill didn’t punt the ball? It just shows the trust that he has in his system and his players. I take it as a compliment."