Mayo says self-sufficiency will help Patriots

191543.jpg

Mayo says self-sufficiency will help Patriots

By Tom E. Curran
CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Follow @tomecurran
When the lockout ends, the teams that were best able to self-start during the 2011 offseason will have a significant advantage.

Jerod Mayo thinks the Patriots will be in that group.

Asked Tuesday on WEEI's Big Show about the team's ability to be self-sufficient, Mayo told me, "I think we're close to the top, to be honest with you. Coach Belichick really instills that work ethic when you're a rookie coming in. You have to learn the Patriot way and the Patriot way is do the right thing when no one's looking. You have to have that mental toughness and I think for the most part this team has that."

Since March, Mayo's been the lead organizer of workouts in Foxboro with trainer Brian McDonough. This is an off-week for the group but Mayo says the "dozen or so" players taking part will continue to do so until the start of training camp.

"After keeping in contact with the rest of my teammates, I think guys have been working hard. But at the end of the day, you won't know the kind of shape guys are in until they get to Foxboro. When the deal does get done, you have to take a look and see the kind of shape they're in and proceed from that."

And Mayo points out that the incoming rookies will have a mountain to climb inlimited time.

"It sets them back a little bit," Mayo said when asked how the lockout will impact the young players who haven't had contact with the coaches. "I learned a lot coming in as a rookie just being around the older guys. Not only being with (linebackers coach Matt Patricia) but being with (Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel). Just being around them Ilearned how to play football, how to be a professional on and off the field. How to watch film, watching the previous year -- even though you're a rookie you still watch the previous year -- doing things like that you learn a lot about the system, you learn a lot about your teammates and just the overall camaraderie is missing right now. It's going to be a crash course when they get here. Itkind of puts them behind the 8-ball a little bit."

In contrast, Mayo said he's expecting a big jump from guys entering their second year at the linebacker spot: Brandon Spikes, Jermaine Cunningham and Dane Fletcher.

Mayo, like the rest of us, remains in a football holding pattern as the two sides try and hammer out an agreement.

"I'm basically assuming that everything gets worked out," he explained. "These guys have these deadlines and hopefully something gets done before the deadline comes and we start training camp on time. I was living and dying with it but it was like an emotional roller coaster. Now I'm just waiting for the big news. I'm not a diehard watcher right now. I'm drained from the roller coaster ride we've had along the way."

Tom E. Curran can be reached at tcurran@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Tom on Twitter at http:twitter.comtomecurran

Kraft won't hold a grudge over Deflategate, but he also won't forget it

Kraft won't hold a grudge over Deflategate, but he also won't forget it

Haters gonna hate. Robert Kraft knows that, and he's not going to hold a grudge because of it. But he won't forget, either.

The New England Patriots owner appeared on the latest episode of HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" for an interview with Andrea Kremer that aired Tuesday night, and he was as candid as any member of the organization has been throughout the Deflategate saga.

“I really don’t hold grudges,” Kraft admitted in the interview, per WEEI. “I mean, I remember everything, but I move on . . . Envy and jealousy are incurable diseases. The haters still hate. And I understand it, and we’ll do our best to keep them in that position.”

And while Kraft isn't holding grudges, he still recognizes the negative impact the controversy left on Tom Brady's pristine reputation.

“He’s just not the greatest quarterback in the history of the NFL,” Kraft began. “He’s an amazing human being. And is genuine. And as nice as everybody thinks he is, he’s nicer. And to see anyone attack him as an individual or his integrity. And that just wasn’t fair.”

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Bennett says he is 'just chilling' and hasn't given free agency 'a ton of thought'

Will Martellus Bennett be back with the Patriots next season?

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it's "a real possibility" Bennett leaves given the asking price and potential offers.

Less than an hour later, the unrestricted free agent sent out a tweet responding to speculation about his future.

Bennett, who will 30 years old in March, had seven touchdowns in 19 games in his first season with the New England Patriots.