New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs

Mayo a Player to Watch in Camp This Summer

Yahoo! Sports reports one player to keep your eye on in camp this summer is linebacker Jerod Mayo, who has had back to back 100 plus tackle seasons:

Linebacker Jerod Mayo: The former No. 10 overall pick has notched a pair of 100-tackle campaigns and earned a leadership role as a captain in just two NFL seasons. But Mayo has yet to show the ability to be an impact player as either a playmaker on the field or a vocal leader off it. Mayo may need to improve in both areas in 2010 if the New England defense is to make strides following a disappointing 2009 season.

Mayo was thrust into a leadership void in New England a year ago for a team that lost Tedy Bruschi, Mike Vrabel and Rodney Harrison in one offseason. The middle linebacker then injured his knee early in the year, missed three-plus games and never seemed to get comfortable. His 252 tackles in two seasons prove that he can be more than effective in that area, but at full health Mayo must show the ability to make more game-changing plays in terms of tackles for a loss, forced fumbles, interceptions and sacks. Right now that’s what separates him from the great linebackers in the game — guys like elder statesman Ray Lewis or contemporary inside linebacker standard setter Patrick Willis.

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