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Jerod Mayo on MFB: ‘It’s tough to lose a brother’ in Logan Mankins 08.29.14 at 12:45 pm ET
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Middays with MFB on Friday, following the team’s final preseason game of the season Thursday night. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The big news around the team this week was the trade of stalwart offensive lineman Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers.

“It’s always tough when you lose a brother like Logan, a guy who’s been here his entire career,” Mayo said. “At the end of the day, we still recognize that it’s a business, and decisions have to be made. Coach [Bill] Belichick obviously felt that was the best thing for this team for now and for the future.

“It’s tough. Anytime you go through multiple training camps, multiple seasons with a guy, it’s tough to lose a brother.”

Mayo communicated with Mankins after the trade.

“Obviously he was hurt a little bit,” Mayo said. “Like I said, we’re a family here. As his teammates we stick together through thick and thin. But he also recognizes that it’s a business. Sometimes moves have to be made, and we all have a time. NFL they always say stands for ‘Not For Long.’ We have to enjoy these moments that we have with each other, because you never know when it’s your last.”

The team must reduce the roster to 53 players by 6 p.m. Saturday. Despite his status as one of the veteran leaders, Mayo said he still gets uncomfortable when a staff member walks through the locker room to contact players who will be cut.

“Honestly, and I know you guys will probably think I’m full of it, since my rookie year I’ve always had this: Anytime a guy goes around grabbing people, I never look him in his eye. Because you never know when your time’s up. You never know when your time’s up,” he said. “I just always keep my head down and go to work every day and try to go out there and do my job, man, and hopefully everything falls into place.”

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Read More: Jerod Mayo, Jimmy Garoppolo, Logan Mankins, Tom Brady
Setting the scene: Patriots host Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers in dress rehearsal 08.22.14 at 5:10 pm ET
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Bill Belichick is on the cover of GAMEDAY as the Patriots host the Panthers. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

Bill Belichick is on the cover of GAMEDAY as the Patriots host the Panthers. (Mike Petraglia/WEEI.com)

FOXBORO — As was the case last week, the Patriots will be playing a summer preseason game in very fall-like conditions as temperatures are expected to be in the low 70s with partly cloudy skies for the 7:30 p.m. kickoff against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers.

There is no precipitation in the forecast, with a breeze expected out of the east at 10 MPH.

This is the game where Tom Brady, along with the rest of the Patriots starters, are expected to play at least the first half, barring any injury. Brady said this week he is looking forward to the picking up the tempo under all game conditions that are presented.

Linebacker Jerod Mayo, after missing last week for an unspecified reason, practiced this week and could get his first taste of preseason action.

Rob Gronkowski also took a step forward this week, joining in on 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 contact drills but is not expected to play. It would not be surprising to see the tight end skip the entire preseason and attempt to make his debut on opening day in Miami on Sept. 7, as he said this week was his intention.

Gronkowski and Mayo were among several Patriots taking part in pregame sideline-to-sideline sprints at 5 p.m. with trainer Jim Whelan and strength and conditioning coach Moses Cabrera, two and a half hours before kickoff. Also in the group of wind sprinters were Sebastian Vollmer and Dont’a Hightower. That is usually an indication that they won’t be dressing and playing.

The Vollmer sighting is significant, as he missed all three full practices this week and is likely to sit out the third game.

There’s something else to consider. When Brady comes out of the game, either Jimmy Garoppolo or Ryan Mallett will enter the game. If it’s Mallett, there are several teams with scouts on hand to watch.

Nine teams have scouts at the game, including Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Miami, Minnesota, the Giants, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.

Mallett played the entire second half against the Eagles and had impressive moments. Garoppolo played in the first half after Brady came out after two series.

Read More: 2014 training camp, Carolina Panthers, Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots
Jerod Mayo on MFB: ‘I’m fine,’ but unsure of playing vs. Panthers 08.21.14 at 12:29 pm ET
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Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, who has yet to play a game this preseason, joined Middays with MFB on Thursday as the team prepares to play the Panthers on Friday night. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Mayo, who suffered a season-ending torn pectoral muscle last Oct. 13, would not share information about the reason why he was held out of last week’s joint practices with the Eagles and ensuing preseason game, saying only, “I’m fine.” He’s practiced with the team this week but said he’s not sure if he’ll be playing in Friday’s game.

“Whenever I get back out there I’m sure I’ll hopefully have a good time getting out there with the guys and competing against another team,” he said.

Mayo explained that he’s bought in to Bill Belichick‘s approach of avoiding sharing details with the media.

“Obviously everyone has their own personality and everyone has their own flavor that they want to put on answers,” Mayo said. “But at the same time, you don’t want to give the opposition too much information. It’s the radio. Everybody’s listening to this station.”

One of the big stories of the preseason has been the officials’ strict adherence to the rules, as the flags have been flying with high frequency.

“That’s where the league is trending, to [calling] the illegal contact,” Mayo said. “It’s not a new rule. It’s just a point of emphasis. We just have to abide by the rules and hopefully go out there and play good football.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

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LB Jerod Mayo: ‘Everything is good’ 08.19.14 at 1:09 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Linebacker Jerod Mayo missed three practices last week against the Eagles — as well as the preseason contest against Philly — but said Tuesday afternoon that when it comes to his health “everything is good.”

Mayo was back on the field with his teammates for the final day of training camp Monday, and said it was a positive experience.

“I feel good. I feel good,” he said. “I went out there [Monday], ran around a little bit. I feel pretty good.

“I always love going out there and practicing against other teams. It breaks up the monotony of camp,” he added. “Unfortunately, I was unable to go out there, but I feel good now.”

Mayo was noncommittal when asked if it was a health or personal issue that kept him away from the field. The linebacker, who missed the final 10 games of last season after tearing his pectoral muscle, also kept it vague when asked if he was going to be able to go Friday against the Panthers, joking that when it comes to questions about his health, his go-to answer is always “Ask Coach [Bill] Belichick.”

As far as a timetable for his return to the field, Mayo — who is entering his seventh season in the NFL — made it sound like it will be sooner rather than later.

“It’ll be a step-by-step thing,” he said. “It’s kind of like riding a bike, though — I think once I get a couple of plays under my belt, I’ll be OK.”

For more Patriots news, check out weei.com/patriots.

Read More: Bill Belichick, Jerod Mayo,
Jerod Mayo not present at start of Patriots practice for second straight day 08.13.14 at 10:04 am ET
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For the second consecutive day, Jerod Mayo was absent from the start of Patriots practice.

The linebacker was not part of the first joint session between New England and Philadelphia on Tuesday, and according to those in attendance, was not at the start of the workout between the two teams on Wednesday morning. It’s not known if the veteran is dealing with a health issue — prior to Tuesday, he hadn’t missed a practice all summer — but he did end the 2013 season on injured reserve with a pectoral injury.

In addition to Mayo, the following players were among those not spotted at the start of practice: Defensive linemen Sealver Siliga and Chris Jones, tight ends Michael Hoomanawanui, D.J. Williams and Terrence Miller and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon. And while the Patriots reportedly dealt for defensive linemen Jerel Worthy and Ben Bass on Tuesday, neither were present at the start of practice Wednesday.

Read More: 2014 training camp, Jerod Mayo,
Bill Belichick calls Jerod Mayo ‘one of the best’ team leaders he’s ever been around 07.25.14 at 9:45 am ET
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FOXBORO — Bill Belichick knows a team leader when he sees one. And in Jerod Mayo, he’s sees one of the best he’s ever been around in the NFL.

That’s saying something from a coach who has been in the presence of Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, Carl Banks, Pepper Johnson, Rodney Harrison, Tedy Bruschi, Tom Brady and Junior Seau.

But on Friday, Mayo was put in that lofty group by Belichick when the Patriots coach was asked about what Mayo means to the Patriots, after missing half of last season with a torn pectoral muscle.

“Yeah, I think he means a lot to our team,” Belichick began. “I’d say he’s really the guy that the team probably revolves around more than any other player. Not that there aren’t other players instrumental in that. He pretty much touches everybody, not just the defensive players but all the guys, and not the just the older guys, the younger guys. Even when he was captain in the second year, he had a relationship with the older guys.

“Now, he’s more a veteran player but he’s still pretty attached to the younger guys like Jamie Collins, [Dont'a] Hightower, guys like that, in addition to players not at his position. He’s got a great work ethic, great presence on the football field, great personality that I would I say in a very good way professional but also has good rapport with all the players and the coaches. He’s as as well-respected as any player in the locker room. I’d say he’s one of the best overall team leaders and players, kind of a glue-chemistry guy, I’ve been around.”

Mayo, the 10th overall pick by the Patriots out of Tennessee in 2008, is already entering his seventh season. He has enjoyed a career that included NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year honors in ’08 and a Super Bowl appearance in February 2012.

On Thursday, Mayo showed some of his leadership by telling everyone that this talented Patriots defense still needs to prove itself on the field. Mayo cautioned that no one knows after just one practice just how good this defensive unit can be until all the pieces are on the field together.

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Read More: 2014 training camp, Bill Belichick, Jerod Mayo, Lawrence Taylor
Jerod Mayo after first day of training camp: ‘We really don’t know what we’re capable of’ 07.24.14 at 5:52 pm ET
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FOXBORO — Thursday was like Christmas morning for many Patriots fans as they got their first glimpse of the 2014 squad on the field together for the first time on the first day of training camp.

Tight end Rob Gronkowski took part in team activities (with the exception of 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s) for the first time since tearing his ACL last December, as during OTA’€™s Gronkowski worked off to the side, not working with the entire offense. Free agent cornerback acquisitions Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, who should strengthen the secondary, took part in their first training camp session as members of the Patriots, and second-year wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins made several nice catches in 7-on-7s.

There was plenty to get excited about, for sure, but it was just Day 1 and the team was in shells and shorts, which made it hard to get a true sense of exactly where the team and individual€™s stand both skill and scheme wise.

“At this point, we’€™ve only had one day of practice, so we really don’€™t know what we’€™re capable of,” linebacker Jerod Mayo said following the workout. “We’re taking it one day at a time and continuing to work towards our goal.”

Much of the talk entering camp has been the additions of Browner and Revis in the secondary. With what already was in place, this could be one of the best secondaries in the Bill Belichick era.

With only one real practice under their belts, it’€™s hard to really know what their true impact will have on the defense.

“Honestly, it has been one day of practice out here,” Mayo said. “We have a lot of different schemes and plays to put in, so ask me that in a couple of weeks and I’€™ll let you know.”

Where exactly individuals and units are will become clearer as camp rolls on, beginning over the weekend when the team will wear pads for the first time, with which comes real blocking and tackling.

Like many of the fans, the players are excited.

“Definitely,” said Mayo. “You can only do so much out here with no pads on. Saturday will be a good day, but obviously we have some work to do [Friday] putting some plays in. Saturday will be fun.”

Read More: 2014 training camp, Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, Jerod Mayo
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