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Jerod Mayo: ‘We’re a very multiple defense’

08.23.11 at 2:53 pm ET
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FOXBORO ‘€” Jerod Mayo wants everyone to pump the brakes a little bit. The linebacker says that just because the Patriots turned up the pressure in the first two weeks of the preseason, that doesn’€™t mean they’€™re going to be all cranked up every week going forward.

‘€œWe’€™re a very multiple defense: One week, we might come out with pressure, the next week, we may come out sitting back in coverage. You never know. I think that’€™s a good quality of this defense,’€ Mayo said before practice Tuesday afternoon. ‘€œ[There are] some different things. We’€™re very multiple this year, showing different looks and things like that.’€

The Patriots have used aggressive four-man fronts over the course of the first two weeks, and that’€™s paid off in the form of increased pressure on opposing quarterbacks. New England has seven sacks and registered 11 quarterback hits over the first two weeks of the preseason. In addition, the Patriots third-down defense has improved as well ‘€” after allowing teams to convert on 47 percent of their third-down chances last season, through two preseason games, teams are converting at just 20 percent.

But Mayo said that the new, pressure-packed scheme won’€™t be the case every week.

‘€œLike I said, we’€™re very multiple,’€ he said. ‘€œOne week, we may bring a lot of guys, next week, we may drop a lot of guys. There’€™s no telling what coach [Bill] Belichick is drawing up in that office right now.

‘€œWe did a good job executing the game plan that coach Belichick had, [but] it changes every week.’€

Regardless of the scheme, those plans include a heavy dose of Mayo. The 25-year-old Pro Bowl linebacker, coming off another standout season, isn’€™t getting too comfortable with his role.

‘€œTo be honest with you, that’€™s up to Coach Belichick to evaluate us,’€ said Mayo, who was recently ranked No. 62 in the NFL Network’€™s countdown of the Top 100 players in the game. ‘€œYou think you go out there and have a good practice, then all of a sudden you watch the film and it’€™s not as good as you thought it was, or not as bad as you thought it was. That’€™s up to those guys.’€

‘€œHopefully I’€™ll make the team, though,’€ he added with a smile.

Here are a few other points Mayo touched on in his four-plus minutes with the media:

On the importance of getting Albert Haynesworth back on the field: ‘€œHe’€™s a great player and I’€™m sure when he’€™s healthy he’€™ll get out there and make some plays for us. …. He’€™s working hard to get back out there with the guys, and I’€™m sure he’€™s in his playbook, doing what he needs to do to be prepared to play when he comes back.’€

On having a disruptive defensive line: ‘€œThose guys, they’€™ve played excellent during the whole training camp. It’€™s very important for all of the linebackers for those guys to eat up a lot of those blockers and allow us to roam around.’€

On challenges faced by second-year players: ‘€œYou never want to get too comfortable. You think you know everything going into Year 2, but you don’€™t. You have to continue to work hard in the playbook and on the field.’€

Read More: Albert Haynesworth, Bill Belichick, Jerod Mayo,
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