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Jerod Mayo on M&M: Communication, conditioning key for Patriots

06.15.12 at 2:07 pm ET
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Appearing on Mut & Merloni on Friday afternoon, Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo discussed his leadership role, good conditioning and some other keys to minicamp. To hear the interview, visit the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

Mayo, at 26 years of age, is one of the defense’s veterans and is charged with helping new additions Dont’a Hightower and Chandler Jones.

“Those guys are coming out ready to work [and] that’s all you can ask,” Mayo said. “Those guys come out and work hard, both in the classroom and on the field. Being one of the older guys I just try to lead by example. We have great coaches they can learn from and [they've] got to work hard.”

The rookies aren’t the only players working hard this offseason as the Patriots, coming off a Super Bowl loss, are striving for improvement.

“The goal is to get better, obviously,” Mayo said. “We have a lot of talent on our team, but at the same time we have a lot of new faces, so communication is huge. Going out there and competing each and every play is huge. It’s just getting used to the coaches and things like that, especially for these young guys. That’s a big part of the offseason.”

Added Mayo: “It was difficult at first but that comes back to communication — knowing who you’re on the field with and things like that. I think it was good for us.”

The Patriots don’t stop working to reach their goal, even if coach Bill Belichick hands the team a rare day off as he did on Thursday.

“We still did some work,” Mayo said. “I don’t think it was a total day off. We got some things done. I think he knows everyone’s been working hard, so guys are going to continue to work hard. It wasn’t a full day off, but it was a pleasant surprise.”

Mayo’s personal goal is to be in tip-top shape at the start of training camp.

“This is a time where you get the edge on everyone else,” Mayo said. “You’re going to have some guys who go home and just eat their way out of the league, and you have those guys who go out there and grind and work hard. Just get ready for training camp, that’s the goal.”

Read More: chandler jones, Dont'a Hightower, Jerod Mayo,
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