Mayo honored as 2011 Ron Burton Award winner

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Mayo honored as 2011 Ron Burton Award winner

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
FOXBORO - This past summer, a 10-year-old in my town named Brentwas playing in a baseball tournament on the Cape. In one of the final games of the event, Brent was pitching when an opposing batter looped a short foul ball on the third base line. Breaking for the ball immediately, Brent got to the foul line and dove. At the same time, his catcher did the same thing. Brent made the catch - a remarkable one - but also broke his leg in two places in the collision. After a couple of harrowing days, Brent was back home, laid up on the family couch in the middle of the summer with a cast up to his hip. On a Saturday afternoon in the middle of the NFL lockout, Jerod Mayo calledBrent to see how he was doing. It made the kid's day. Tuesday night, Mayo was named the 2011 winner of the New England Patriots Ron Burton Community Service Award. He was presented with the honor at the Kickoff Gala held by the Patriots Charitable Foundation. "My biggest passion is just giving back to the kids; they're our future and I know it sounds cliche' but it's the truth," Mayo said after being presented with the award. "Some of them really don't have direction and things like that so anytime it has something to do with kids, I'm there."I'm sure Mayo looks at the phone call he placed to Brent as being no big deal. Just a couple of minutes to make a kid who was down feel up for a little while. But the fact I felt comfortable calling on Mayo or that favor and the fact I knew he wouldn't look at it as a big encumberance tells you all you need to know about him, There are a lot of coaches and players in the Patriots' organization willing to quietly give, beginning with the head coach Bill Belichick. Mayo, though? He's something special. He gives the impression he wants to go out of his way to help people. In his three short years in New England, Jerod has made large contributions both on and off the field, said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. Both in uniform and and as an active volunteer in the community, he has done everything asked of him and more. He continually makes us proud to have drafted him in 2008. He is a most deserving recipient of the Ron Burton Award.Added Andre Tippett, the Patriots Executive Director of Community, "If it helps kids, hes there. We know him to always roll up his sleeves while getting involved in creative ways, including leading art projects, serving children dinner and playing interactive games. It is clear that he wants to use his experience as a father to make a difference in the lives of each child he meets. In 2010, Mayo launched The Mayo Bowl, an annual celebrity bowling event to raise funds for Pitching in for Kids, a charity that provides earmarked grants to improve the lives of children in New England. The 2011 edition will be held at King's in Dedham on September 19.
Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran.

Bean: The 2007 Patriots don't get nearly enough love

Bean: The 2007 Patriots don't get nearly enough love

Phil Perry has been running a series on the 2007 Patriots vs. the 2017 Patriots. He breaks everything down position-by-position and compares what should go down as two of the best teams in franchise history. It’s really good stuff. 

Also, a lot of people are idiots. 

    For some reason -- and it’s either because they’re rightfully excited for the upcoming team or because they’re still shell-shocked by 18-1 -- the 2007 Patriots have been shown a remarkable lack of love when it’s come to the reader votes. It’s insane. 

    2007 PATRIOTS vs. 2017 PATRIOTS:

    And before you start with the “This is Boston and it only counts if you win” nonsense, remember that the 2017 team hasn’t done a thing yet, so by saying the 2017 Pats are better than the 2007 Pats, you’re saying the then-greatest offense of all time is worse than a current work in progress.

    As if anyone should need the reminder, the 2007 Patriots rank as the No. 2 scoring team ever, and at the time they were No. 1. Their 36.8 points a game was dwarfed only by the 2013 Broncos, who averaged 37.9. Then again, the Patriots have four of the top 12 scoring teams ever, so there’s no reason to rule out what should be a loaded 2017 group registering high on that list as well. 

    But back to the ’07 team for a second. At the time of this writing, a poll of over 3,300 readers had 67 percent finding the 2017 receivers and tight ends being better than the group from 2007. If ever there were a poll that should be split 50-50, it’s that. In fact, I would take the 2007 group over the 2017, but that’s only because I saw Randy Moss play in every game and am not sure I will see Rob Gronkowski do the same. 

    Think about the options after the top guys in both groups. Donte’ Stallworth was a get in free agency -- a 27-year-old first-round pick with all the talent in the world and a few damn good seasons in New Orleans under his belt -- and the guy didn’t even have 50 catches for that 2007 team. No, it wasn’t because he wasn’t any good; it was because Tom Brady, Randy Moss and Wes Welker were so busy putting up a combined 31 touchdowns together that there was barely time for anyone else. 

    Laurence Maroney was the ’07 team’s lead back, but given how much the team threw and the fact that he missed three games, his 835-yard season with an average of 4.5 yards a pop was a lot better than has been remembered. 

    The only thing you can give the 2017 team over the 2007 one is that they figure to be well-rounded. The Patriots’ defense should be better than that ’07 group, even though the 2007 Pats gave up the fourth-fewest points in the league. Damn, the 2007 Patriots were so good.  

    Yes, that ’07 team lost, but it was still the best team in the league by a mile that season. Bad Super Bowl game plan, bad execution, obviously. But overall? There wasn’t a team close to as good as them that season. 

    The expectation is that something similar could play out this season. The Pats are so much better than everyone else that you’d be nuts to rule out 19-0 talk. Yet that hasn’t happened yet, and for now, the most explosive offense the Pats have ever seen — and very well may ever see — will be that 2007 one. They aren’t held in the same regard as the five championships, and for good reason, but to slight that offense — or really that team at all — is foolish. 

    Poll ranks Patriots as NFL's most 'badass' team

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    Poll ranks Patriots as NFL's most 'badass' team

    Five-time Super Bowl champions. Seven-time AFC champs. Fourteen-time AFC East champs. Now, Bill Belichick's Patriots have another title.

    NFL's most "badass" team.

    The Tampa Bay Times polled a panel of 43 NFL writers and asked them for the top three most "badass" teams and players in the NFL.

    MORE PATRIOTS

    The defending Super Bowl champion Patriots came out on top with 29 top-three votes. 

    Here's a sampling of the panelists' comments:

    "They keep winning in a league designed to discourage dynasties." -Terez A. Paylor, Kansas City Star

    "Hands down. They take a three-touchdown lead and keep throwing, and throwing, and don't give a damn what anybody thinks." -Tyler Dunne, Bleacher Report

    "For a decade they've been toying with and laughing at the rest of the league. The biggest bullies on the block." — Ralph Vacchiano, SNY

    "Behind the glitz and glamour of having the game's greatest quarterback, the Patriots ranked among the league's top 10 scoring defenses each of the past five seasons, including No. 1 in 2016." — Ryan Wood, Green Bay Press-Gazette

    The most badass player? Veteran Steelers linebacker James Harrison. The highest-ranked Patriot on the list? Tom Brady at No. 6. Rob Gronkowski was tied with Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack at No. 8. Julian Edelman was among the others receiving votes. 

    Here are the full rankings: 

    MOST BADASS TEAM 

    1. Patriots (29 votes)

    2. Seahawks (27)

    3. Steelers (18)

    4. Raiders (9)

    5. Ravens (8)

    6t. Broncos (6)

    6t. Cowboys (6)

    8. Bengals (4)

    9t. Cardinals (2)

    9t. Packers (2)

    9t. Panthers (2)

    9t. Texans (2)

    Also receiving votes: Chiefs, Falcons, Rams, Titans (1 each)

    MOST BADASS PLAYER

    1. James Harrison, Steelers LB (14 votes)

    2t. Marshawn Lynch, Raiders RB (10)

    2t. J.J. Watt, Texans DE (10)

    4t. Kam Chancellor, Seahawks S (8)

    4t. Ndamukong Suh, Dolphins DT (8)

    6. Tom Brady, Patriots QB (7)

    7. Von Miller, Broncos LB (6)

    8t. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots TE (5)

    8t. Khalil Mack, Raiders LB (5)

    10. Aaron Donald, Rams DT (4)