Mayo loving OTAs, ready for new year


Mayo loving OTAs, ready for new year

FOXBORO -- When Jerod Mayo was drafted by the Patriots in 2008 he joined a team reeling from its Super Bowl loss to the New York Giants. Last season, he experienced the letdown for himself.
The way he reconciles it? Moving forward.
"It was very draining at first," Mayo said after a Tuesday workout. "But at the same time we know we have to get back to work. We have a young team, a lot of faces back, and hopefully we have a good team."
Watching tape of XLVI was actually part of the healing process.
"I have done it a couple times," he admitted. "Just to break down film like you do every other game. Just to see where we went wrong. At the same time, I'm past that and am just working to get back to the same point next year."
After using the rest of February for rest and recuperation, Mayo geared up for the new year by conditioning on his own.
"I love working out and getting ready for the next season. Especially a disappointing season like that with the Super Bowl, you want to get back to work and try to get better for next year."
The linebacker stressed how happy to be back at Gillette. There have been just two days of Patriots OTAs, but he said working with strength coaches and groups of his teammates feels like an important step forward.
"I just like being around the coaches and the rest of the guys as well. Obviously, we're a couple weeks out from where we usually start, but the workouts feel the same, the running feels the same."
Mayo then grinned. "I'm tired right now."

Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots


Hawkins says he passed up more lucrative deals to sign with Patriots

The Patriots went into Wednesday with what could have passed as the deepest receiving group in team history, yet by lunchtime they had added another. 

Former Browns and Bengals wideout Andrew Hawkins announced on Twitter (via uSTADIUM) that he had chose to come to terms with New England. He explained that the opportunity to work with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick proved to be enough to convince him that he should pass up more lucrative offers from other clubs.

"After giving it a lot of though, I've decided that I'm going to join the New England Patriots," he said. "Super excited about the opportunity, man, to join the reigning football champions. In Cleveland, I said it was about joining a contender, and the Patriots are the contender, the reigning champs.

"The program is top-notch, and you get the opportunity to play with the best quarterback and the best coach in NFL history, man, so it's super exciting. It was never really about the money. To be honest, I passed up on deals that were probably double the compensation . . . but it was all about winning for me at this point, and putting myself in the best position to do so."

Hawkins (5-foot-7, 180 pounds) may be a familiar name to Patriots fans as he caught four passes for a season-high 56 yards and one touchdown against New England in Week 5 of last season. He finished the year with 33 catches for 324 yards and three scores. The 31-year-old has recently seen his name in the headlines as he completed his Sports Management degree at Columbia and graduated last week. 

The Patriots have receivers room that's currently pretty loaded with talent. Brandin Cooks, Julian Edelman, Chris Hogan, Danny Amendola and Malcolm Mitchell figure to make up the top end of the depth chart, while former practice-squad wideouts Devin Street, Devin Lucien and DeAndrew White figure to compete for playing time as do undrafted rookies Austin Carr and Cody Hollister.

"Nothing's for sure. I got my work cut out for me. It's an opportunity," Hawkins said. "That's how I'm approaching it. Going there and seeing how I stack up with the best and try to earn my keep and prove my worth. I'm jsust excited to get there, get to work, and hopefully I can be part of something special and kind of join that Patriot legacy."