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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.”

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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
Report: Patriots add Dominique Easley to NFI list, while Alfonzo Dennard and Aaron Dobson will start camp on PUP 07.21.14 at 5:27 pm ET
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With camp looming later this week, the Patriots reportedly made some procedural roster moves Monday designed to allow some of players who are injured or coming off offseason surgery more time to rehab before they get on the field.

According to Field Yates of ESPN, defensive lineman Dominique Easley, running back Roy Finch, linebacker Deontae Skinner and tackle Chris Martin have been placed on the non-football injury list.

Meanwhile, cornerback Alfonzo Dennard; wide receivers Aaron Dobson and Jeremy Gallon; defensive tackle Tommy Kelly and special teamer Matt Slater were placed on the physically unable to perform list. Most of the players in this grouping were either limited (working with a rehab group) or not present during the media portion of the spring workouts.

In both cases — the active/physically unable to perform list as well as the active/non-football injury list — they can come off the list and return to practice at any time after they have been cleared by the team’s medical staff.

One thing worth noting is that both lists do not include tight end Rob Gronkowski, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork and linebacker Jerod Mayo, all of who suffered season-ending injuries last year.

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Read More: Aaron Dobson, Alfonzo Dennard, Chris Martin, Deontae Skinner
Jamie Collins: ‘I’m going to do whatever I’m told to do’ 05.08.14 at 1:46 pm ET
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FOXBORO — When the 2013 NFL Draft came around, Jamie Collins was not really paying attention except to find out where he would wind up.

When the Patriots nabbed him with their second-round pick out of Southern Mississippi, Collins was ready to do whatever he was asked to do. That would turn out to be very helpful as the Patriots selected him because of his reputation in college as one of the more versatile linebackers in college in the ’13 draft.

In his rookie season, Collins played both down and linebacker positions, showing he could get to the quarterback, play the run and drop in coverage.

Collins, asked this week to reflect on his first year in the pros, said once you have the talent, the rest is pretty elementary when you play for Bill Belichick.

“It’s pretty easy,” he said. “It’s not easy but it is easy. I don’t know if you get that or not. I’m going to do whatever I’m told to do. I’m the type of guy that is going to do what I have to do. I’m going to get it done, no matter what it is.”

In other words, Belichick has very specific plans for the linebacker, who showed up this spring in Foxboro looking bigger and stronger, all the more reason for the Patriots coaching staff to show more confidence in Collins, who began coming into his own as the 2013 regular season came to an end.

“Guys are different,” he said. “I just look at things and I just know it’s my job and I have to do what I have to do to survive. I was learning, regardless. But once a guy goes down, it’s next man up. You have to be strong. You lose a guy, the next man has to be ready to play. I’m excited to have him [back]. Read the rest of this entry »

Read More: Brandon Spikes, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins, Jerod Mayo
Jerod Mayo knows ‘Dream Teams’ don’t always ‘pan out the way you think they would’ 05.06.14 at 11:07 pm ET
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FOXBORO — He may be only 28 but Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo has seen enough as an NFL player and fan of the sport to know that all the talent in the world doesn’t always translate into success.

The most recent and obvious example of this would be the 2011 Philadelphia Eagles that added the likes of Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Nnamdi Asomugha to the back end of their secondary. Two shut down corners added to a secondary that already included Asante Samuel. Vince Young was so impressed in July Eagles camp after the lockout that he dubbed them the “Dream Team.”

What happened? They went 8-8. A year later, they allowed 33 touchdowns and intercepted just eight passes and finished 4-12. Clearly, the Patriots feel they’re a little better off than a team that had no zero team chemistry in the year that led to Andy Reid losing his job.

The Patriots this offseason have added the consensus best corner in the game over the last five years in Darrelle Revis and one of the most physical bump-and-run corners in Brandon Browner. But Mayo is a student of the game and its history. He knows well from the Eagles example since the Patriots beat them, 38-20, in November of the “Dream Team” season.

“Just as a player and as a fan of football, you kind of notice things like that, these “Dream Teams” that don’t pan out the way that you think they would,” Mayo said Tuesday. “A player would go into a different scheme and it just doesn’t fit right, it just doesn’t work out right. So, it’s all about taking it one day at a time, building a camaraderie, going out in training camp, going out there in 7-on-7, these workouts together and just getting on the same page.

“It’s always good when you can add talented football players and people who love the game. We really don’t know yet. We haven’t been out on the field and gelled together. Obviously, there have been talented teams that haven’t played well together. We’ll have to wait and see and take it one day at a time.”

Revis and Browner join a secondary that already includes Devin McCourty, Logan Ryan, Alfonzo Dennard and Duron Harmon. The defense presumably will be getting back Mayo, Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly from injuries and a more experienced tandem of Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower to go along with Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones. That’s a lot of talent.

One piece that won’t be returning is linebackers coach Pepper Johnson, who is off to Buffalo as their new defensive line coach.

“We haven’t had that many meetings,” Pep was a great coach but right now, we have our coaching staff all set. We have great coaches. These coaches have coached linebackers before so I’m sure it’ll be the same thing.

“I’m sure Coach Belichick and those guys, they evaluate all of us. All of us are evaluated on a daily basis. I’m not sure what he’s going to do. That’s a question for Coach Belichick.”

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Read More: Brandon Browner, Darrelle Revis, Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots
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