Jerod Mayo’s Q&A with the media from Thursday at Gillette Stadium
|06.07.12 at 2:57 pm ET|
How are things going with all the new guys? ‘Everyone is coming out here and working hard. That’s all you can ask for during this time of the season.’
There was a lot of barking on the sidelines about concentration. Is it different at this time of year compared to when you guys get going in the fall as far as that’s concerned? ‘We try to practice just as hard now without pads as we do with pads. Even though we’re not actually hitting each other, we’re out there going hard. We’re out there being safe but at the same time trying to get those looks and making sure everyone is on the same page, especially when people get tired.’
What is the attitude of the defense heading into the new season? You guys took a lot of heat in the media last year ‘ what’s the attitude now? ‘Just take it one day at a time; get better each and every day and that’s what we’re doing.’
Can you talk about some of the new guys coming in? They obviously have a learning curve with the system. Can you talk about how they’re doing? ‘Yeah, there’s a learning curve but those guys are coming in each and every day, working hard in the classroom and on the field. Hopefully when the season comes, they’ll be ready to go.’
What do you envision for this defense and how it will change for the upcoming year? ‘I’m not even trying to look that far out. I’m looking to now. I’m looking toward watching this film from today and going out tomorrow and improving on that.’
Is it exciting when you leave the draft and the team has six new guys ready to go? ‘It’s always exciting when we get guys on our side of the ball. I always love new faces, new talent. It’s like different tools you get to work with and those guys are good players.’
What are your thoughts on the new players that have come in? ‘Fortunately, the guys that have come in are football guys. They know the game. So Dont’a [Hightower] came in and wanted to watch film; we watched film together. He understands everything I’m trying to say. That’s the fortunate thing about that ‘ having guys who are true football guys.’
As defensive captain and play caller, you’re going to deal a lot with Matt Patricia. Has anything changed now that he has the defensive coordinator title? ‘I’ve been dealing with him since ‘08, since I came in. He’s a great guy. He’ll continue to do the same things he’s been doing.’
Now that you’ve been in the league for awhile, do you become essentially a teacher? ‘I try to go out there and lead by example. This is my fifth year and I’m one of the old guys on this side of the ball. We have great coaches who pretty much handle all that. Coach [Matt] Patricia, Coach [Bill] Belichick, Coach [Pepper] Johnson really take control of the classroom and make sure everyone understands.’
This is the first season you’re coming into with a long-term deal. Does that increase your leadership on this team? You’ve already been a captain and a leader but even more so now? ‘I’m just going to try to do the same things that got me the deal. Try to go out there and lead by example and get better each and every week.’
Have five years gone by quickly? ‘Five years has gone quickly. Hopefully I can get another five in, or more.’
What are your thoughts on Dont’a Hightower and what he looks like in the early portion of this year? ‘The only thing I can really talk about is in the classroom. He’s come in, he’s worked hard and he’s learned a lot. That’s a question you have to ask Coach [Bill] Belichick and Coach [Matt] Patricia ‘ how he looks on the field. I’m looking around but from what I can see he’s done a good job.’
How much of an adjustment is the classroom part of it? ‘You just kind of replace the classes you did in college with football. If you’re a football guy, you enjoy that and Dont’a [Hightower] is one of those guys.’
Have you picked a song for karaoke at Zolioke [Zoltan Mesko’s karaoke fundraiser]? ‘I don’t know if I’m going to sing. I might sing something, I don’t know. What should I sing ‘ a little Sam Cooke, old school Sam Cooke? I don’t know what I’m going to sing, I’ll be there though.’
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