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Jerod Mayo . . . Will He Become the Playmaker?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by PatsBoy12, Jun 27, 2012.

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  1. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Here is an intriguing article about Jerod Mayo I just read on Pats Pulpit. I know a lot of you have probably been over there early this morning, but I thought I'd post it here for some discussion.

    Mayo has become a bit of a polarizing player on the roster, albeit not as polarizing as some in the past (i.e. Maroney). Many fans laud him for his consistency and ability to play injured. He has been steady and reliable. Others chide him for his lack of big plays like some of the other more household names (Pat Willis, Ray Lewis, etc.). Many thought he was primed to make the leap last year, but it was arguably his worst, both statistically and just from an impact perspective.

    Personally, I don't want him in any other uniform, and I'm glad he got the extension he got. BB obviously sees his worth, perhaps going beyond the field of play. I used the term "playmaker" in the title, but I think what we may really be talking about is impact plays. He makes tons of plays, but the perception (which may actually come close to matching reality for once) is that he doesn't make those eye-popping plays or crucial plays that are momentum swings like Spikes INT versus the Jets in the red zone in 2010 and his INT versus the Ravens last season in the playoffs. Can Mayo become that? Will Mayo become that?

    What do you all think? Let's discuss.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  2. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would personally be happy to see Mayo return to his 2010 form as a tackling machine, as well as quarterback of the defense and captain and co-leader along with Wilfork. I'm not sure we'll ever see him become an elite playmaker with great ball skills and instincts - anything that he in that area would be a major bonus, obviously. But I'm not sure after 3 years that much more will happen, and I'm fairly pro-Mayo.
     
  3. Gronkandez

    Gronkandez Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    He seemed to occassionaly blitz last year, esp in pre-season, which I don't remember seeing in previous years. He was pretty successful too, getting some nice hits on QB's as they extended in their throws. With the acquisition of Hightower maybe he'll get some more opportunities in this area.

    Other than that though, I think 'he is what he is' at this point. A pretty good LB IMO.
     
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    He is what he is, and there's nothing really wrong with that. He'll probably be a very good, fringe Pro Bowler most of his entire career - but he'll never truly be an elite linebacker. And that's OK.

    Spikes has a better shot at being a true playmaker on this defense. And one could hope Hightower and Jones might have some playmaking ability in them.
     
  5. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mayo is top 5-10 at his position IMO, and he made some playmaker plays last year. As others said, he's a very good ILB.

    However, that SB play was so atrocious and plays like that I feel are why he won't become the playmaker, stud LB. He had a endzone INT right in front of him....

    One could even argue Spikes has a higher ceiling and could be that next stud LB. He has the crazy attitude for the Ray Lewis like leadership, is a stud against the run, and has even surprised me in his coverage abilities with the sweet INT in the AFCCG.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  6. PatsSox363804

    PatsSox363804 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think at this point he is what he is, a tackling machine but not a game changer. I hope I'm wrong but I gave up hope of him being a game changer when he didn't turn around and make a play on the ball in the Superbowl and basically gave Cruz a TD.
     
  7. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    He's further along than either Bruschi or Vrabel at the same stage of his career. I don't see why we need to cap his upside already. I can't remember if it was the Giants or Steelers players last year who said the game plan was basically get Mayo blocked because after that the middle is soft. Couple that with BB giving him the contract he got and I think he's a lot better than people realize. I get pretty frustrated with his coverage from time to time but even then rewatching the game on the DVR I half wonder sometimes if it wasn't even his man but he ended up coming off and making the tackle.

    I'm really looking forward to what the addition of Hightower is going to mean for Mayo. The last pick I was as excited about was Gronk and I think Hightower has DROY and AP potential. His addition might make Mayo really shine.
     
  8. PatsSox363804

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    Fair point. I think it's possible we're being impatient because Mayo was a top 10 pick and now has 4 seasons under his belt combined with the fact that we're in win now mode. That said, it's amplified by the play in the Superbowl, the defense was perfectly called, all he had to do was be in the right position and he would have had an INT. He was so badly positioned he couldnt even knock the pass down. Another terrible play in that god awful first quarter.
     
  9. DarrylS

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    Difficult to tell if he will emerge as a game changing kind of guy... last year our D was up and down, so one of your two best defenders cannot take too many chances and has to play fairly vanilla.

    This year there are more pieces, so he will be able to take more chances.. Spikes only played 8 games last year..

    I think he will be fine, the Pats do not reward these guys with long term contracts unless they see something worth paying for.
     
  10. livinginthe past

    livinginthe past Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    People should try and read a couple of books about Belichick as a coach and what he looks for in his players - LBers included.

    In 'Education Of A Coach' - he talks about his All-World LBer corps assembled when he was D-coach for the Giants - he had alot....ALOT of respect for a couple of the guys in that corps who did alot of the grunt work that allowed guys like LT to make the highlight reel plays.

    What Mayo brings to the table as the QB of that defense is not easily definable, especially to those who are only able to value work based upon statistical output (which, to be fair, is a great deal of us).

    I really couldn't care less if Mayo fails to get the INTs and the FF's - as long as Belichick is pleased with his output - thats all that really matters at the end of the day.

    To me, Mayo personifies the Belichick mantra "Do your job".
     
  11. RelocatedPatFan

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    As many have said, I think he's a very good ILB.

    I'd be curious to understand his full role on the team and (it appears) he has a multitude of assignments/options to perform and that limits his ability to be a speicalist and excel at it (i.e. like a OLB pass rush specialist).

    I think part of what he is the last line of defense before RBs get to the secondary and BB might have him playing less aggressive because of that (not real sure without compiling and breaking down plays). He does on occassion get pushed around, but so doesn't everyone and that's not often.

    I think the biggest issue people see is him making tackles 5-6 yards off the LOS. I think that's partly by design and I'm sure we'd all like to see those plays made 1-3 yards closer to the line.

    As for playmaker, i'd say it's more in putting other players in position and lettign them unleash a bit. It may be some of those tackles he makes is "making up" for another player and stopping some big plays from happening...in which case it doesn't appear he is actually making a greta plkay when he may be.
     
  12. PatsBoy12

    PatsBoy12 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I agree with everything in this post. I was so pissed that he didn't turn his head and make that play in the SB. That SB is more infuriating than the first loss to the Giants because the Patriots had all the right calls and normally made all the plays they missed. The Giants didn't outplay NE in that game, although that is the perception.

    I, like you, believe Spikes has a lot of the tools to be the stud. However, I think he will be plagued by two main things that may keep that from happening and, I foresee, will lead to his exit from this team in the future: injury and lack of discipline. I attended UF at the same time that he played for the team and he IS injury prone. There is not denying that. And, although he was never in "trouble" at UF, but his name would come up from time-to-time in some stories that made you cringe. He is a bit of a loose cannon and will make a few bonehead decisions off the field that I think BB will have problems with. I'm obviously speculating about the "exit from NE" part because I don't know that, but I can see it happening if Spikes doesn't curtail some of his off field antics.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  13. Rob0729

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    Mayo has a chance to really emerge if Hightower and/or Jones live up to expectations or close. I think what has hurt Mayo in the play making department is the fact that he hasn't be allowed to make plays because he is needed to help cover up weaknesses in other areas.

    I think he, Spikes, and Chung could all become better play makers if others on defense can step up and stabilize the defense a little more. All of them will be aloud to blitz more and in Mayo and Chung cases be a little more aggressive in coverage.

    Mayo may never be better than what he is which is a solid LB who does his job very well, but isn't a big time play maker. But a better defense could allow him to become a big time play maker.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  14. PatsSox363804

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    I agree with all of that but the initial question is will he ever become a playmaker and he hasn't shown a tendency towards making big plays. His consistent effort, tackling, and QBing the defense are all above average, in my opinion. If he somehow develops into a guy that can make some key picks, knock some passes down, force fumbles, etc he'll be an elite player.

    I will say he did force a fumble in the Superbowl its just unfortunate that of the 3 fumbles one was called back and the other 2 bounced right to the Giants.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
  15. BradyManny

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    Fair points. But maybe part of Mayo's lack of big play is part of his make-up. While the stronger supporting cast around him this year may improve his overall play, will it change his ability to make big plays?

    Consider Spikes who has made a couple big plays in his time here already - why would he make big plays and maybe Mayo not? One part of it is his really high instincts, Spikes has those - and he's also taking chances and risks that Mayo would not. One part of it might be his mental make-up. Maybe Mayo is just missing those things a little bit comparatively.

    Either way - you take what you get from Mayo. He's a great player. He's extremely reliable and everything we want from an ILB. We were spoiled by Bruschi in his prime.
     
  16. WinstonSmith

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    To use a bad baseball analogy: he is the football equivalent of Dwight Evans -solid, professional, dependable, positive win shares, but most likely not hall material.
     
  17. Brady_to_Moss

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    I thought he would be better than he is coming to the team..he is good..but i just thought i would see a little more..i don't know
     
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  19. Rob0729

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    Without know exactly how Belichick and Patricia use each player, I don't know if you can draw too much conclusion on Mayo vs. Spikes. I think the Pats value Mayo's abilities more and they may ask him to cover up for weaknesses while Spikes has a more limited role which might allow up to make big plays.
     
  20. BradyFTW!

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    Mayo is excellent already, and he's probably not going to get better. He'll probably never be a turnover/sack machine, and that's fine because the Patriots don't ask him to be that. That's what Hightower and Jones were drafted to be.

    When you have an athletic, disciplined tackling machine like Mayo in the middle, it frees up the other guys to take more chances, and that's where the big plays should come from.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012
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