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

We have a lot of talented guys on our team. 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.

Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo on M&M: ‘Frustrating loss for us’

Jerod Mayo

Here are five reasons New England can cope without Jerod Mayo. The Patriots Can Turn to Free Agency Lofa Tatupu could be Jerod Mayo’s temporary replacement Andy Lyons/Getty Images This NFL offseason was very unique for many reasonsmainly all of them stemming from the labor lockout. One reason was because it left a number of quality veteran free agents out of a job. Even four weeks into the year, there are still many able bodies roaming the free agent sidelines, eager to contribute to a team in need. So it may be wise for Bill Belichick and the Patriots to source scour the waiver wire to find Mayos temporary replacement. 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.

Man in middle Mayo the Patriots’ leader on defense

“I feel I can get so much better as a football player living near work,” he said. “As far as off the field and giving to the community, I can make a bigger impact here where I’m playing rather than back in Tennessee or Virginia.” It was in Yorktown, Va., that Mayo learned at a young age what it means to be a man, to accept those challenges and responsibilities. His grandfather, Walter Johnson , did everything he could to instill in Jerod and his three brothers values that were ingrained in him during a 30-year Air Force career and later as pastor of Zion Prospect Baptist Church. Johnson describes himself as a “surrogate father” to Jerod, older brother Shermont and younger brothers Deron and Derek. While Denise, a single-parent mother, worked long hours to support the four children, her father tended to their personal development. “I always valued hard work. I valued discipline.

Jerod Mayo taking lead for Patriots’ defense

Mayo noted the mix of players with different levels of experience, then singled out safety Adrian Wilson as a great addition. After joking that Wilson brings a set of biceps Devin McCourty has nicknamed the chiseled Wilson the Incredible Hulk Mayo says the former Cardinal just brings that experience, some different philosophies, how to do different things but at the same time playing within the scheme. Hes a smart guy and hes played a lot of football. A two-time Pro Bowl selection, and an All-Pro in 2010, Mayo is still one of those players, Belichick said recently, who continues to improve despite having Jerod Mayo Jersey several seasons under his belt. Mayo sets goals at the start of every season and posts them inside his locker. I write them down and I track them along the way, I think thats very important. I set not only personal goals but team goals, as well, he said.

Linebacker plugs the gap

Though the Patriots wound up losing that night, linebacker Jerod Mayo’s ferocious and gutsy play against the New York Jets in a game at Foxborough last November opened some eyes.

There was only a fleeting moment, when the defense came off the field and he plopped on the bench next to veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel, that Mayo let down his guard and groaned. He was tired, he was hurting, and so was his team. The kid was really banged up, Vrabel said. And still he was flying around the field, hitting guys. The rookies respite lasted only seconds before coach Bill Belichick pulled off his headset and called out, Mayo! Lets go. Special teams. Mayo jammed his helmet back on, steeling himself for another round of jarring hits.

Jerod Mayo Injury: 5 Reasons the Patriots Can Cope Without Him

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Defensively, how would you assess the overall effort Sunday night? JM: Right, like you said, we came out, started strong, made some big red area stops. We obviously didnt finish the game [the way] we wanted to. Its hard to win games in this league, especially against a good offense like Atlanta. Well take it and well look at the film and make corrections and move on and get ready for a good team next week. Q: How big of an impact has Tommy Kelly had on this team? JM: Tommy has been great.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — There are two quarterbacks on the New England Patriots roster, but not according to defensive lineman Vince Wilfork . He sees three. There’s Tom Brady , Ryan Mallett and … Jerod Mayo ? Let Wilfork, one of the team’s defensive captains, explain.

Jerod Mayo spicing up Patriots’ D

Jerod Mayo

In addition, get the latest WEEI.com updates at twitter.com/WEEI . WEEI.com Blog Network WEEI It Is What It Is Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo on M&M: Frustrating loss for us Rob Ninkovich, Jerod Mayo on M&M: Frustrating loss for us 10.07.13 at 12:36 pm ET Defensive end Rob Ninkovich and linebacker Jerod Mayo appeared on Mut & Merloni on Monday to discuss the Patriots defensive performance in the teams 13-6 loss to the Bengals. Rob Ninkovich New England lost its first game of the season on Sunday. Much of the consternation surrounded the offense, which failed to score a touchdown and accumulated just 248 yards, in addition to turning the ball over twice. The Patriots defense allowed just one touchdown, but it came in the fourth quarter, and it proved to be the game-winning points. Its a frustrating loss for us as a defense, because you play well early in the game, you have some big stops and turnovers, you keep them from scoring, said Ninkovich, who recorded three tackles and half a sack in the game.

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