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Jerod Mayo on D&C: Pats ‘refocused on the goal’

10.15.10 at 7:10 am ET

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo made his weekly appearance on the Dennis & Callahan show as part of Patriots Friday on WEEI as the Pats prepare to host the Ravens on Sunday. To hear the interview, go to the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

Mayo talked about the playoff game last season in which the Ravens ran roughshod over the Patriots from beginning to end in a 33-14 rout. “I just remember going out there and just having a terrible game from the first play to the last play,” he said. “Those guys came out and put a pretty good beating on us. This year, I think the guys are refocused on the goal and taking it one game at a time. Hopefully, we can go out there and get it done.”

Added Mayo: “Last year we came out and we kind of put our toe in the water to see if it was too hot or too cold. Those guys dove in head-first. That’s what we have to do this year. We have to dive in head-first, and from the first play to the last play, go out there and play well. I don’t think it had anything to do with X’s and O’s. I think it had more to do with us.”

This game will be a big test for a Patriots defense that has shown improvement through the first few weeks of the season. “It’s definitely a work in progress,” Mayo said. “We’re a young defense and we’re taking it one day at a time. Coach [Bill] Belichick has been very patient with us, trying to teach us not only about the X’s and O’s, but about the overall awareness of the game. I think we’re taking it one day at a time, I think we’re getting better each and every week.”

The Patriots special teams unit keyed the 41-14 victory over the Dolphins in the team’s last outing with a performance that included a blocked punt, a blocked field goal returned for a touchdown, and a kickoff return for a touchdown. Mayo was asked if the players on special teams had a little extra swagger in the days after the game. “Those guys went out there and had a great game,” Mayo said. “I think actually at first, they had a big head for a little bit. But coach Belichick is good at popping those bubbles. Everybody’s back down at the ground level right now.”

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