Jerod Mayo Conference Call Transcript

“You have to respect that because he’s getting everything in order for us. He calls the shots on the Authentic Jerod Mayo Nike Jersey field.” [+] Enlarge AP Photo/Elise Amendola Jerod Mayo’s work ethic and football instincts are so strong that teammates call him “Bill Jr.” in homage to Patriots coach Bill Belichick. Just as Brady has put up big numbers this season, the Patriots’ defensive “quarterback” is hitting new plateaus as well. Known to this point as a tackling machine who seldom came off the field, the 6-foot-1, 250-pound Mayo is starting to show up more as a disruptive pass-rusher and turnover machine. He has three sacks this season after totaling 4.5 in the first four years of his career. He has also forced four fumbles in 2012, matching his career total entering the year. ESPN analyst Tedy Bruschi , who used to play Mayo’s position in the Patriots’ scheme, has noticed a breakthrough in Mayo’s play of late and he thinks he knows why.

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Someone who should immediately be considered is middle linebacker Lofa Tatupu , whos still waiting to sign on somewhere. New England should strongly consider bringing him to Foxboroughfor a look. Another linebacker currently without a team is former Tennessee Titan Keith Bulluck, who has seen time at both outside and inside linebacker. Frankly, its surprising neither Tatupu nor Bulluck is playing football right now. I believe both still have something to offer a team like the Patriotsat least for a few weeks. Another Patriot Linebacker Can Step Up Dane Fletcher may be the new man in the middle for the Patriots Handout/Getty Images If the Patriots dont replace Mayo via free agency, it will be because either Bill Belichick doesnt think anybody out there can help, or he believes Mayos replacement is already on the roster. And he just may be. Fellow linebacker Gary Guyton replaced Mayo in Oakland after he went down, and played well for the most part (although he was badly out of place on Michael Bushs rushing touchdown for Oakland). He could fill in for Mayo, but the more logical choice here is Dane Fletcher. A second-year inside linebacker, Fletcher has played well for New England so far this season, even seeing time on offense in goal-line situations.

Jerod Mayo: Patriots Maintaining ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality After Vince Wilfork’s Injury

But theyll need to be ready for prime time again in Sunday nights tough matchup with San Francisco. Mayo, bound for his second Pro Bowl appearance, is enjoying the best season of his career, with 124 tackles, three sacks, an interception and four forced fumbles through 13 games. Though hes been making big plays all over the field, hes also working to provide some extra holiday cheer off the field. Jared Fogle, left, and the Patriots’ Jerod Mayo, right, surprise the Boston Fire Department with a giant sub as part of Subway’s Customer Appreciation Month. (Photo by Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Invision for Subway/AP Images) On Tuesday, Mayo joined Subway spokesman Jared Fogle to surprise Boston area locals with 12 random acts of kindness as part of Subway Restaurants customer appreciation month. For this weeks edition of Sporting News Huddle Up!

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While the secondary has been hawking interceptions and the defensive line collapsing pockets, its been the steady presence of Mayo thats kept all the moving pieces flowing smoothly. The 10th overall selection in the 2008 draft, Mayo has led the team in tackles every year since entering the league. Playing a position that requires as much mental acuity as physical, the 27-year-old wasnt available to the media yesterday, but his teammates certainly spoke highly of him, particularly second-year defensive end Chandler Jones. Jerod is one of the leaders of our defense and, if I want to say and make a bold statement, the heart of our defense, Jones said. Hes calling the signals and hes making a few checks. Jerod, we rely on him a lot.

Jerod Mayo

We never really think about that, we always just think about stealing possessions and getting the ball back to those guys. In addition to shutting down Freeman, the defense kept second-year running back Doug Martin at bay. The shifty 5-foot-9 back ran for 88 yards on 20 carries. Anytime you got a guy like that running behind 6-6 guys, its difficult to find him, said Mayo. Hes a very explosive runner, but I think the guys did a good job getting 11 guys to the football and bringing him to the ground. Mayo downplayed the significance of practicing with Tampa Bay before facing the Bucs in a preseason game. As far as knowing your personnel, knowing who youre playing against, it was helpful that way, but as far as scheme is concerned it was a little bit different, Mayo said. New Englands defense will have a steeper challenge next week, as the Pats take on the Falcons high-flying offense run by quarterback Matt Ryan. Mayo said it will take a group effort to slow playmakers like wide receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White, tight end Tony Gonzalez and running backs Jason Snelling and Jacquizz Rodgers.

Jerod Mayo confident ‘next man up’ will fill void of Vince Wilfork

Jerod Mayo is ready to step up and accept the mantle of leadership on defense. (Mike Petraglia/

Mayo is having a potential All Pro season. Mayo already has career highs in sacks (3) and forced fumbles (4) and is currently third in the NFL in tackles, and as you can see his grades from ProFootballFocus (membership required) are off the charts. A look at PFF’s signature stats also show Mayo might be the best 4-3 outside linebacker in the NFL. They have him third in pass rush productivity, second in run stop percentage, first in tackling efficiency and seventh in coverage, his supposed weakness. By every available metric Mayo is having a dominant season. Let’s take a closer look at how the Patriots have been utilizing Mayo differently this year. First a look at the old 3-4 from the 2009 playoff game against the Ravens .

Breaking Down Jerod Mayo’s All-Pro Caliber Season in Patriots Defense

I think Vince got hurt in the first quarter yesterday and guys really stepped up and played well for us. We ended up getting the victory, which is always is a good thing. Thats our mentality the next man up. Im sure we have a lot of great people, great players, great leaders in the organization in general so I know I expect that to continue on. Wilfork left Sunday nights game on the opening drive, and he didnt return. The Pats defense limited the Falcons for much of the game, though the D needed a red zone stand in the final minutes to secure the victory. The absence of Wilfork was manageable in that game, but Mayo said it would be hard to account for what a season-long absence would mean to the team.

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JM: Tommy has been great. In the locker room, hes been great. In the film room, he brings that veteran knowledge; the things you learn while playing the game, he brings it to the young Jerod Mayo Nike Elite Womens Jersey guys. Im learning from him on the field. Obviously hes a great interior pass rusher and can also play the run. Hes a big body in there, just a great complement for our front.

Jerod Mayo taking lead for Patriots’ defense

No!, Mayo said Thursday afternoon when the phrase comes up, a dimple-bearing smile emerging on his face. Then he reconsidered. Well, maybe in the [linebackers] room. But weve still got Pep [linebackers coach Pepper Johnson]. Pep, he played, so hell always be the oldest in the room, Mayo said. Bill Belichick says he doesnt play favorites, but its not a secret at Gillette Stadium that Mayo is one of his prized pupils. The 27-year-old is a no-frills, team-first, hard-working, consistent, reliable film junkie some of Belichicks favorite traits.

Jerod Mayo: Heartbeat of Patriots defense

There was a game to be won but then after, their thoughts turned to the man who has anchored the middle of the line since 2004. Obviously Vince has been a staple for a long time. He rarely goes out with injuries so it was very shocking and surprising to see my friend go down like that. Hopefully hes OK; well see what happens. But it definitely caught me off-guard a little bit, because Im used to always having him in there with me. I spoke with him after the game. Hes in good spirits and well see what happens. Here is the remainder of Jerod Mayos conference call with reporters: Q: Whats the takeaway Sunday night?