It’s been an offseason full of praise for New England Patriots linebacker Jerrod Mayo. The up-and-coming star received kind words from Tedy Bruschi, who said he’s on the cusp of being one of the top linebackers in the NFL. Mayo also got some rarely heard praise from New England coach Bill Belichick during the countdown of the top 100 players in the league.
All of that would basically be for naught, however, if the NFL’s lockout situation doesn’t get worked out. When it comes to that, Mayo says he’s just working out under the assumption that the lockout will be resolved in time for the upcoming season. And he’s not alone. He believes the Patriots are at the top of the league when it comes to working out and staying responsible despite the fact that they cannot do so at New England’s facilities or with the team’s coaching staff.
Jerrod Mayo joined WEEI in Boston with Tom Curran and Rob Bradford to discuss how he’s approaching the offseason at this point, if he’s nervous there won’t be a season, if he’s paying close attention to the lockout, how the lockout will affect players if and when they return from the lockout, the praise he’s received this offseason and the Patriots as self-motivators.
With so many thoughts of optimism out there about the lockout, are you ramping up for a potential training camp?:
“I’m doing business like it’s a normal year, to be honest with you. Besides not being able to go to the complex, I’m still training at the same speed and doing the same things I would be doing if we did have a full offseason. I’m still up here in Foxboro just working out and hopefully we get into camp on time. That’s how I’m approaching it.”
Are you nervous there might not be a season?:
“I’m basically assuming that everything will get worked out. These guys set these deadlines and hopefully something gets done before the deadline comes. I’m just sitting back waiting. I’m watching the news just like you guys are, waiting for a phone call.”
Do you pay close attention to everything that’s happening or just wait to get some news?:
“For a minute there, I was living and dying with it, then it was like an emotional roller coaster pretty much. So at the end of the day now I’m just waiting for the big news. … I’m not really a die-hard watcher right now. I’m kind of drained.”
If the lockout goes right up to training camp, how different do you think it will be? Will guys be getting injured and such?:
“I can only speak for the Patriots and after keeping in contact with the rest of my teammates, I think guys are working really hard. At the end of the day, you won’t know the kind of shape that guys are in until they get to Foxboro. When the deal finally does get done, you’ll have to see what kind of shape guys are in and proceed from there.”
On Tedy Bruschi’s comments that you would soon be the best linebacker in the league:
“It’s a very humbling thing for him to say. At the same time, he’s one of the greatest linebackers to play in New England. They love him out here. I appreciate the compliment and I’ll just continue to work hard and get better every week.”
Were you shocked that Bill Belichick had nice words to say as well when they were counting down the top 100 players?:
“That’s not the norm at all. Anyone who knows Coach Belichick knows it’s kind of hard to get compliments like that. I’m going to save those and post them on my wall.”
Where do you think the Patriots rank in terms of being self-motivators at a time when there is no contact with coaches?:
“I think we’re close to the top. Coach Belichick really instills that work ethic when you’re coming in as a rookie. You have to learn the Patriot way and the Patriot way is doing the right thing when no one’s looking. You’ve got to have that mental toughness and things like that. For the most part, I think this team has that.”