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Jerod Mayo on D&C: Pats need to stop run

10.01.10 at 7:57 am ET
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning as the team prepares for Monday night’s game against the Dolphins in Miami.

Mayo said the key for the Patriots is to improve their run-stopping defense.

“A lot of teams have been trying to get us out of our base defense, base 3-4 defense, trying to get us in sub packages, like nickel and dime and things like that, and run the ball,” he said. “So, I think if we can go out there and stay in base and stop the run in sub, I think we’ll be fine.”

Following is a transcript. To hear the interview, visit the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Does Monday Night Football screw up the schedule, screw up the preparation, make it more difficult to get prepared?

I don’t think it really screws it up. It gives us a little extra time to prepare for the opponent, and that’s what we use it as.

We were just talking about your sack numbers. You only have 2 1/2 sacks in your two-plus-year career. Are you just not blitzing, or is that your fault?

Yeah, If you watch the film, I don’t really blitz that much. I do a lot of covering. Rarely do I go. Rarely do I go.

Would you like to go more often? Do you think you could be a more effective pass rusher if they called your number, sent you on the blitz more often?

I’m not sure. At the end of the day, anything the coaches ask me to do, I’m going to do. I’m going to give you that textbook answer.

But you’re quick enough, right?

Yeah, I feel like I’m pretty fast, pretty quick.

What should we look for when we start watching this game to say whether if it’s going well or not well for Miami offensively?

First and foremost, how we’re stopping the run. A lot of teams have been trying to get us out of our base defense, base 3-4 defense, trying to get us in sub packages, like nickel and dime and things like that, and run the ball. So, I think if we can go out there and stay in base and stop the run in sub, I think we’ll be fine.

The success on third down for the Patriots defense has been less than stellar this year. Any analysis as to why that’s the case?

On third down, I don’t know, we haven’t been able to get off the field. Sometimes it’s penalties, sometimes it’s been lack of awareness of where the sticks are. We have to change that, We have to change that trend, hopefully Monday.

Is Ron Jaworski accurate when he says your defense has struggled with play-action?

We have a little bit. But at the same time, I think that goes back to stopping the run, first and foremost. If we stop the run, the play-action pass won’t be a problem. As soon as the Miami Dolphins are able to run, it kind of sets up the play-action pass deep down the field.

Because it’s a young defense and by and large inexperienced, is it a matter of recognition for these guys to understand when it’s play-action and when he really is running the football?

It is about recognition. It’s about seeing what the offensive line is doing. Even on play-action pass, they’re still staying back. They’re not firing off the ball. So, it’s about play recognition, and hopefully we can get it done.

We were just talking about Trevor Pryce going to the Jets, the pass rusher who the Ravens let go. If you don’t bring in any new personnel, do you have the guys who can come up with a better pass rush, who can put the pressure on quarterbacks?

I think we do. We have a lot of good players on this defense. Tully [Banta-Cain], he does a good job getting after the quarterback, as well as Gerard Warren. Hopefully we can get that done. These are the tools that we have. Coach Bill [Belichick] says he’s working with what he has.

When you look at Jermaine Cunningham, do you see a future star in that area? Will he be a pass rusher to be reckoned with for years to come?

I think so. It’s kind of early. He’s played a couple of games or whatever. But he’s shown that he’s willing to learn, and he can get off the ball. Hopefully, he does turn into that monster.

Are you guys going to be inside the bubble today or outside in the monsoon?

Probably outside in the monsoon. I think it’s supposed to rain [in Miami], right?

Read More: Jermaine Cunningham, Jerod Mayo, Tully Banta-Cain,
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