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Jerod Mayo’s Q&A with the media from Thursday at Gillette Stadium

06.07.12 at 2:57 pm ET
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Here’€™s the complete Q&A from linebacker Jerod Mayo‘€™s session with the media today at Gillette Stadium:

How are things going with all the new guys? ‘€œEveryone 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? ‘€œWe 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? ‘€œJust 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? ‘€œYeah, 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? ‘€œI’€™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? ‘€œIt’€™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? ‘€œFortunately, 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? ‘€œI’€™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?
‘€œI 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? ‘€œI’€™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? ‘€œFive 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? ‘€œThe 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? ‘€œYou 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]? ‘€œI 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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