Tag Archives: Jerod Mayo

New England Patriots News 3-31, AFC East Notes

Steve Balestrieri
March 31, 2019 at 5:00 am ET

Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 03-31 and AFC East Notes.

We have begun our draft profiles on players that we feel would fit the team, our first on tight ends can be seen here:  And our follow-up post on possible wide receiver fits can be seen here:

ICYMI: Our first Mock Draft 1.0 attempt at building the 2019 Patriots roster is in the books. You can recap it here: You can expect the Patriots to be very active in this one, moving around the board due to having 12 draft picks and half of them in the first 101 picks.

Quick Hitters:

Joe Bellino, former Patriots kick returner and running back passed away this week at the age of 81. Bellino was a standout athlete at Winchester, Mass before joining the Naval Academy. Bellino won the Heisman Trophy at Navy as well as being a three-year letterman on the Midshipmen’s baseball team.

Following his four-year military commitment, Bellino joined the Patriots in 1965 and played three seasons until 1967, primarily as a kick returner. His only NFL touchdown came on a 25-yard pass from Babe Parilli on October 8, 1966, against the Bills.

Supposedly at his Annapolis graduation, Bellino took part in the cap toss with 700 other Midshipmen. A young boy picked up Bellino’s cap amidst the 700 others and returned it to him. That young boy? Bill Belichick.

Following his Patriots career, Bellino re-joined the Navy and served a total of 28 years retiring as a Captain. RIP Joe.

Bill Belichick and Joe Cardona were on hand at Gillette Stadium this week to spend time with the Navy Lacrosse team who were practicing there before their game against Holy Cross. Belichick is never one to turn down an opportunity to spend time with the Navy cadets or put a lacrosse stick in his hand.

New Replay for PI/OPI: Not a fan. It doesn’t solve what is or what isn’t Pass interference and now the subjective part of this falls to some unnamed staffer in New York who decides if a play is truly a foul or not.

Richard Sherman said the NFL “can control the outcome as they see fit” because “every defendable pass looks like PI in slow motion.”

Malcolm Mitchell was back in Boston and sat down with ESPN’s Mike Reiss and spoke about his retirement after just one season in the NFL due to chronic knee issues. Mitchell told Reiss that his plans are still flexible but he will always have that one shining moment in the Super Bowl.

“With football, it is easy to see into the future and build an idea of where you want to end up. With that gone, it has been a little hazy to see where I will end up. But one thing I hope people in New England know is that I made sure I went out a Patriot.”

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends are the talk of Patriot Nation right now, specifically the lack of them currently on the roster. So fans will be happy to note that the team has met with or is bringing in WR A.J. Brown, N’Keal Harry, and TE Jace Sternberger in the upcoming days. Sternberger in our draft profiles was marked as a great fit.

The Gronk Videos Keep Rolling:

With the retirement of TE Rob Gronkowski last Sunday, the highlight videos have been everywhere all week and truth be told, all of them were fantastic. Gronkowski had so many highlight plays, one could literally spend hours watching his tape.

The word best describing the big guy was “genuine”. He was always just a big-hearted kid trapped in an enormous man’s body. There was no acting for him, what you saw is what he truly is. But for all the partying he did, there was always a smart element to it, he had his bus and a designated driver and he never got in any trouble.

On the field, he was all business and his work ethic was unquestioned. We’ve seen countless great catches and his ability to attack the seams of the defense while drawing two, three and at times four defenders was legendary. But as a blocker, there are none better.

In the 2011 AFC Championship Game, the Patriots had him blocking the big immovable Haloti Ngata 1-on-1 and he opened a hole for a Patriots rushing touchdown. In the 2018 AFC Championship Game, they left him in to block Dee Ford, the Chiefs best pass rusher all alone. Any other TEs today get tasked with that kind of blocking responsibility? Anyone? Bueller? No way.

One of the best Gronk videos we saw this week was from the outstanding work of Brian Baldinger who does a tremendous job of breaking down tape. In this one from the NFL, he shows how versatile the big man truly was. Happy trails 87…

Schiano Abruptly Quits, Mayo Back on Board:

Greg Schiano, who was never actually announced as the Patriots Defensive Coordinator has stepped down to “spend more time on my faith and family.” The exodus for Patriots coaches leaving the team since the Super Bowl win over the Rams has now reached five.

Schiano was widely thought that he’d assume the mantle as the Defensive Coordinator with the loss of Brian Flores. But now his departure leaves a gaping hole in what was already a really depleted defensive staff.

But the good news was that the Patriots hired former linebacker Jerod Mayo to take over the linebackers. Mayo was described by Tedy Bruschi when he was drafted out of Tennessee as “an old soul”, meaning he was very mature and already had great leadership qualities. While a player, Mayo was considered a coach on the field and many of the players called him “Bill Jr.”

One coach who may be tasked with more responsibilities this season is former Wisconsin and Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema. He was hired as a defensive consultant to Bill Belichick last year. Before becoming a head coach, he was a linebacker coach and the defensive coordinator at Wisconsin.

But as far as the Defensive Coordinator, that will probably fall back to Belichick.

The Patriots are “In on” Josh Rosen and Everyone Else:

Prior to the 2018 NFL Draft, the Patriots were reportedly to be very interested in QB Josh Rosen who was taken by the Cardinals in the first round. Now with a new regime in place, the Cardinals are supposedly coveting Kyler Murray in the draft and are reportedly going to cut ties with Rosen after saddling him with a terrible supporting cast after just one year. And yes, the Patriots are one of three teams “in on” Rosen as the Cardinals look to trade him. Yawn… wake me when the deal happens.

Is there ever a free agent or player rumored to be on the trading block who ISN’T rumored to be on the Patriots’ radar? I think a lot of agents and team GMs use the Patriots as leverage to draw the price up by leaking out… isn’t that a daisy, that “the Patriots are in on …”

That isn’t to say a deal for Rosen isn’t a possibility but these things happen so frequently, I wouldn’t be betting the house on it. Stay tuned.

“Better Pro Than College Player”, Yes it Happens:

In some of our recent pre-draft writing, I got an email from one reader who took great exception at my comment that a player could be a better professional and have much better production than he did as a college player.

While I won’t print his name, he asked, “Are you out of your f***ing mind?” and finished his thoughts off with, “if he doesn’t produce in college, then he won’t in the pros.”

So, to answer both comments, to the first, I’d say, “Quite probably, and my family has accused me of such often.” As to the second… the NFL is chock full of players who produce at a much higher rate than they ever did in college. Look no farther than Gronk who caught 47 passes in his final season in Arizona.  A great example of that is George Kittle the TE for the 49ers. In four years of college in 48 games, Kittle caught 48 passes for 737 yards and 10 TDs. This season he caught 88 passes for 1377 yards and 5 TDs. And of course, there is a guy who in college was forever being pushed to the backup role and who they tried to replace several times as the starter. Tom Brady.

Some players do mature and take longer to reach their peak effectiveness. Others won’t make that jump to the pros and elevate their games to the next level.

Pat Chung Sued Over Trash Talk:

In one of the more bizarre bits of news, Patriots safety Pat Chung and Matthew Weymouth who runs Chung’s Instagram account are being sued $1.75 million dollars by Matthew Hogan, who was a Rams ticket exec during the Super Bowl.

Hogan was fired after the game for posting to Chung’s Instagram account, “Pat Chung is a bitch” after the safety broke his arm during the game. After Hogan and Weymouth began exchanging unpleasantries, Weymouth posted the screenshots of Hogan’s tirade on the internet.

Hogan was fired over this and now wants Chung and Weymouth to pick up the tab for him losing his job… That isn’t a typo.

Eastbound and Down AFC East Notes:

Bills to Lean on Young Leaders Allen, Edwards in 2019:

Buffalo Bills head coach Sean McDermott at the NFL Owner’s Meeting said that the Bills will be leaning on their younger stars, QB Josh Allen and LB Tremaine Edwards to assume bigger roles both on the field and in the locker room in 2019.

“We’re trying to put a team together and the bottom line is Josh is a big part of that,” McDermott said of Allen. But he was quick to point out Edwards will have a bigger role as well.

“His leadership and Tremaine’s leadership will be key to our success, at a young age, because there’s a gap with what we had last year. Year-three and year-four players, there was an absence of that in our locker room. We’ve added there somewhat in free agency, but Josh and Tremaine on the offensive and defensive side are two young players who are going to have an added amount of responsibility from a leadership standpoint this year.”

Dolphins Trade Robert Quinn, Is Reshad Jones Next?

The Miami Dolphins are definitely doing a clean sweep in South Beach. Miami has traded edge rusher Robert Quinn to the Dallas Cowboys for a 6th round draft pick in 2020. And Miami had already paid Quinn a $1.12 million dollar roster bonus. Making the trade appear even more one-sided was the fact that Quinn agreed to a $4 million dollar pay cut with Dallas. Now, the thought is that Miami will put Reshad Jones on the market.

Jones, 31, is coming off shoulder surgery and doesn’t fit into the Dolphins long-term plans. And the fact that he counts more than $17 million against the salary cap in 2019 puts Jones in the crosshairs to move.

But despite the fact that Jones has been underrated and underappreciated, moving him will be difficult considering his contract. If Miami were to cut him, they’d be on the hook for $25.3 million in dead money.

Sal Pal, “Jets Have Changed the Balance of Power in the Division:

The New York Jets have made some key additions and according to ESPN’s Sal Palantonio, not only have the Jets made the right moves to change the direction of the team, they’ve changed the balance of power in the division.

“When I look at the offseason and I look at free agency and coaching changes, I say two things,” Paolantonio told the Jets.com. “Did you change the balance of power on your team, and did you change the balance of power in your division? I think the answer to the first question is definitely yes.”

Palantonio believes the addition of Gregg Wiliams will mean a great deal to the Jets defense, bringing a renewed sense of energy as well as accountability to the Gang Green defense.

“Le’Veon Bell changes the balance of power within the division,” Paolantonio said. “To me, if the team can run the ball, that takes pressure off your second-year quarterback, that’s pretty obvious. And you need to do that. If you calm him down and keep him on schedule with the running game, the formula is you will win more football games.”

Having the Jets into Gillette Stadium in Week 1 would be a great way to kick off the season. That is a great Week 1 matchup and the rivalry and unpleasantries will reach new heights.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

Jerod Mayo Named Patriots Assistant Coach

Robert Alvarez
March 28, 2019 at 2:50 pm ET

In a story first reported by NBC Sports Boston’s Tom E. Curran, former Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo will return to the team as linebackers coach.

A first round draft pick in 2008, Mayo played eight seasons logging 808 tackles in 103 games before retiring in February 2016.

During his career, Mayo was selected to two Pro Bowls and an All Pro in 2010 when he led the NFL with 175 tackles. He was NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008.

Mayo will work under newly hired defensive coordinator Greg Schiano who replaced Brian Flores.

On Instagram Wednesday, Mayo shared his reaction to the news.

Best Of Social Media: The Patriots Celebrate Christmas

Robert Alvarez
December 26, 2018 at 4:59 pm ET

On Tuesday, current and former members of the New England Patriots took time to share Christmas messages and photographs over their social media accounts.

Check out some of the best below.

https://twitter.com/camillekostek/status/1077733400176455682
https://www.instagram.com/p/BrydWjLF_Xv/
View this post on Instagram

‘Twas the night before Christmas. Happy Holidays!

A post shared by Jonathan Jones (@getitonjones31) on

View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas fam

A post shared by David Andrews (@bear_6060) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brv16IIHxnG/
View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas Everyone

A post shared by Jeremy Hill (@jeremyhill) on

View this post on Instagram

Merry Christmas from the squad!

A post shared by Duron Harmon (@dharm21) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/Br2_ErwDkAC/
https://www.instagram.com/p/Br1L210gDpn/

Best Of Social Media: The New England Patriots Celebrate Thanksgiving

Robert Alvarez
November 22, 2018 at 10:29 am ET

The New England Patriots put a pause on the 2018 NFL season Thursday to celebrate the Thanksgiving with their families.  Check out some of the best postings from their social media accounts.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqf1JcxndYM/

View this post on Instagram

Thankful for all of you. #HappyTurkeyDay

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqfmaNTg7vt/

https://www.instagram.com/p/BqgT5UdgAHF/

A few former Patriots also shared their Thanksgiving festivities and Martellus Bennett even shared some funny stories.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqa1sl-h1SH/

Best Of Social Media: The New England Patriots Celebrate Halloween

Robert Alvarez
November 1, 2018 at 9:52 pm ET

Coming off a week eight victory over the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots got in the Halloween spirit on Wednesday.

On Instagram, Tom Brady may have won for scariest costume, lurking in the background of a family photo as Pennywise the clown.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BpnYVsThpA1/?taken-by=tombrady

Chris Hogan shared a cute photo of his twin sons dressed as a mouse and cheese.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpm-EWpAWZ9/?hl=en&taken-by=chrishogan_15

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bpnjs4xhc1p/?taken-by=dharm21

Lastly, multiple Patriots dressed up in costumes as part of the team’s annual Halloween party for pediatric cancer patients.

Devin McCourty, Jason McCourty, David Andrews, Danny Shelton, Derek Rivers, Geneo Grissom and Eric Smith dressed up as Disney characters.

A few former Patriots also shared their Wednesday fun.

View this post on Instagram

Mummy Mayos

A post shared by Jerod Mayo (@jerod_mayo51) on

https://twitter.com/chatham58/status/1057812247098126336

Best Of Social Media: Patriots Celebrate Easter And Passover

Robert Alvarez
April 3, 2018 at 9:00 am ET

As the calendar flipped to Easter weekend, the holiday provided some quality family time for the New England Patriots.

A few players, past and present, took some time to share some personal photos and messages over their social media accounts for the occasion.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhCevKmhhBT/?taken-by=tombrady

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhCN_adnQXz/?hl=en&taken-by=gronk

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bg8_aBThgi9/?hl=en&taken-by=edelman11

Happy Easter!

A post shared by Jonathan Jones (@getitonjones31) on

Happy Easter! #gloriousday #foreverhereigns #theimpossibleispossible

A post shared by LaAdrian Waddle (@laadrianwaddle) on

Best Of Social Media: Vince Wilfork Retires From The NFL

Robert Alvarez
August 10, 2017 at 9:40 am ET

On Wednesday, former New England Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork officially called it a career, signing a ceremonial one-day contact with the team making him “a Patriot for life” according to owner Robert Kraft.

Many of Wilfork’s old teammates paid tribute to him with emotional social media postings wishing him well into the next chapter of his life.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXgeFR7gvAF/?hl=en&taken-by=jerod_mayo51

goodnight sweet vince #airwilfork #retirement

A post shared by Julian Edelman (@edelman11) on

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXg2NE9F4El/?hl=en&taken-by=mccourtytwins

https://www.instagram.com/p/BXgcWm-F9Ps/?taken-by=l_blount29

The Massachusetts State Police also shared a thank you to Wilfork, in case you may have forgotten his heroics of the field following the 2014 AFC Championship game.

https://twitter.com/MassStatePolice/status/895336906224836608

If Vince Wilfork Retires, His Next Stop Should be Canton

Steve Balestrieri
January 16, 2017 at 6:00 am ET

The Patriots defeated the Houston Texans last night 34-16 in the Divisional Round of the playoffs and will host the AFC Championship Game next Sunday against either the Steelers or Chiefs. After the game, Vince Wilfork said he may have played his last game in the NFL and may retire. It was sad to watch the big man walk off the field for perhaps the last time.  If he indeed does retire, he should have a bust in Canton.

It won’t be easy, the voters for the NFL Hall of Fame don’t like the big heavies. The two-gap run stuffers who are so integral to what some teams do defensively. Why? We live in the era of fantasy football. Voters want the guys who have the impressive sack totals, the penetrators, the fast, speedy guys who make the crowd ooh and ah when they rush the quarterback.

Guys like Wilfork and Casey Hampton who played for the Steelers for a long time will never get those gaudy sack numbers and don’t have that streamlined physique that makes those guys the subject of so many articles and photos for the media. Nope, guys like Wilfork are built like a fire hydrant. Wide, squat, and low to the ground with legs like tree trunks. Built for the marathon of taking on double teams in the interior of the trenches.


Vince Wilfork was an immovable object inside for the Patriots for nine seasons. (USA TODAY Images)

Wilfork never had more than 3.5 sacks in any season but his worth went far beyond that. The Patriots defense relied on him to eat space and double teams at the point of attack in the running game and set the table for the linebackers to clean up. Early in his career, those linebackers were Ted Johnson, Tedy Bruschi, and Mike Vrabel. All of whom had great success in the Patriots defense.

Later, players like Jerod Mayo, Junior Seau, Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower took their places and the defense continued to use Wilfork as the immovable object inside. The defensive philosophy demanded his solid play and the fact that he played on multiple Super Bowl teams speaks of his worth.

Another player that immediately comes to mind was Richard Seymour who was a dominant defensive lineman for the Patriots for several years and had a couple of very productive years for the Raiders. As adept at rushing the passer as stopping the run, Seymour didn’t have eye-popping sack totals but was a tremendous, versatile player who could play inside or outside.

There was an extended period of several seasons where it easy to make the argument that Wilfork was the best at his position, doing what he did better than anyone else in the NFL. From 2007 to 2012, Wilfork made the Pro-Bowl five times and was a first-team All-Pro member once. His 2011 season was arguably his best with 52 tackles, 3.5 sacks and a memorable interception of Philip Rivers, where the big man rumbled for 28 yards downfield. He added nine tackles and 2.5 sacks in three playoff games.

One thing is certain…if indeed Wilfork retires which it appears he will, in five years, he’ll be a first-ballot inductee to the Patriots Hall of Fame. That is a no brainer. But Canton? That will be a difficult sell. Like the catcher in baseball that calls tremendous games for his pitchers and is integral to their success, no one remembers who caught the no-hitters or the perfect games, just the pitchers.

Wilfork is worthy of the gold jacket and will need some help in getting in there. Someone will have to stand up and advocate for him. Which is a shame really. Just turn on the tape from any number of years and watch the traffic jam inside the trenches. Right in the middle of it was #75.

Look around the Hall of Fame and see how many big, two-gapping run stuffers are in there. It is about time that Canton recognizes the excellence of one of them… Just clear off a big space, give his bust a two-gap and very large gold jacket.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

First Time For Everything as Hightower and Gronkowski are Named Captains

Ian Logue
September 6, 2016 at 7:31 pm ET

Rob Gronkowski may be a fun-loving guy off the field but he’s all business on it, and on Tuesday he got a little recognition as he and Dont’a Hightower joined an elite group for the first time in their careers.

According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the two veteran players were among four players named as captains, joining Devin McCourty and special teams standout Matthew Slater into that group.  It’s a first for both Gronkowski and Hightower, and certainly says a lot about the respect they’ve each earned in the locker room.

For McCourty and Slater, they’re no strangers to the honor, having been named as captains for the sixth straight season.  But it marks the second straight year two players joined the ranks as first-time captains, with Ryan Wendell and Nate Solder each experiencing it for the first time last season.

Last season the Patriots had a total of seven captains, with Solder, Wendell, Tom Brady, McCourty, Jerod Mayo, Slater, and Rob Ninkovich holding the title.

Two notable names missing from this list are Brady and Ninkovich, with both players who were captains last year and are currently serving suspensions and are not with the club at this time.

Some may mention the absence of Brady’s name, as he had been a captain for 14-straight seasons coming into this year.  Given the fact the focus is likely only on the guys in locker room (as Bill Belichick likes to remind everyone), Brady most likely will ascend to that role and make it 15-straight when his suspension is over.

Former Patriots LB Jerod Mayo Thanks Team For Taking Number Out Of Use

Robert Alvarez
May 14, 2016 at 8:43 pm ET

In recent years, the New England Patriots have created a trend where notable players who have retired or traded have had their jersey numbers temporarily taken out of circulation for a few seasons out of respect for their contributions to the team. Add former linebacker Jerod Mayo as the most recent recipient of the honor. Mayo responded to the news on his Instagram account Friday.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BFXgullq6MV/

Mayo becomes the fourth recent Patriot to be given the honor. Beginning in 2009, Tedy Bruschi’s number 54 was withheld from circulation for two seasons before it was assigned to tackle Brian Waters in 2011, and currently Dont’a Hightower. Matt Light, Logan Mankins, and Vince Wilfork also were given a respect period as researched by PatsPulpit’s Rich Hill.

The Patriots have not officially retired a number since Bruce Armstrong’s 78 in 2001. Only seven total Patriots have had their number retired, following Armstrong is 20 for Geno Cappelletti, 40 Mike Haynes, 57 Steve Nelson, 73 John Hannah, 79 Jim Lee Hunt and 89 Bob Dee.