David Harris gets Jerod Mayo's old No. 51 with Patriots

David Harris gets Jerod Mayo's old No. 51 with Patriots

If you're hoping to help lead the Patriots defense from the middle of the field, No. 51 wouldn't be a bad jersey to wear in that pursuit.

Those are the digits that were worn by longtime Patriots captain (and Quick Slants co-host) Jerod Mayo during his run with the team from 2008-15. Taking the torch from linebackers like Tedy Bruschi, Junior Seau and Mike Vrabel, Mayo was the defensive signal-caller and quarterback of the Patriots defense for the better part of a decade, eventually handing the reins to his understudy Dont'a Hightower. 

With Harris now in the mix, the defense will still be led by Hightower, who was a captain for the first time in 2016. But Harris figures to serve as a leader in his own right for the Patriots. The 33-year-old 'backer has been one of the game's most durable players at his position while with the Jets, and over time he established himself as a savvy communicator at the second level. 

Comparing Harris to Mayo comes easily because of their reputations as coach-on-the-field types. Back in 2014 when Darrelle Revis called New England home, he explained that what Mayo did for the Patriots defense reminded him of what Harris did in New York.

Now Harris has Mayo's old number, and in training camp he'll make a play for some of the duties Mayo held later in his career. How Harris will handle his new role, and how he may help his teammates take their games to new heights, is something we touched upon in this space earlier today

Harris wore No. 52 during his 10 years with the Jets. That number has belonged to Patriots linebacker Elandon Roberts since he came into the league last season as a rookie, and it looks like Roberts will hold onto it for the foreseeable future.

No. 51 has bounced around to a couple of different Patriots since Mayo's retirement. Last year it was claimed by Barkevious Mingo, who has since moved on to Indianapolis as a free agent. Through this year's spring workouts No. 51 was worn by undrafted rookie linebacker Brooks Ellis, who now shares No. 47 with fullback Glenn Gronkowski.

Jerod Mayo: ‘No harm’ in Patriots bringing in Adrian Peterson for a visit

Jerod Mayo: ‘No harm’ in Patriots bringing in Adrian Peterson for a visit

Jerod Mayo is not one of those New Englanders who are up in arms about the Patriots' decision to visit with Adrian Peterson.

"There's harm in bringing a guy like Adrian in," Mayo told Tom Curran on CSNNE's Quick Slants Tuesday. "You know he can run the ball. He's had some injuries over the past few years, but there are other running backs on this team. He won't play on third down. You still have Dion Lewis. You still have James White. But you don't have a LeGarrette Blount, a guy for first and second down. So it doesn't hurt to bring him in. It's only a plane ticket."

But what about the child injury charges?

"Well, first of all, you went all the way up to Kraft," Mayo said. "If Bill was to bring someone in with some baggage, Kraft has already checked off. He's already approved. So now he's in the locker room. And you as a player, you as a player have to accept this guy who he is. . . . But you walk in with a clean slate when you walk in that locker room."

Jerod Mayo has some advice for Malcolm Butler - Get insurance!

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Jerod Mayo has some advice for Malcolm Butler - Get insurance!

Mike Giardi and Jerod Mayo talk about the potential of a Patriots reunion with Darrelle Revis. Mayo thinks if he is motivated, he can still play, but that's a big IF in Jerod's mind. Plus, is Revis a sure fire Hall of Famer?

Giardi and Mayo also discuss Cyrus Jones, who had a rough rookie year for the Patriots. Jerod thinks he could make a major leap in his second season and play a huge role.

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On Malcolm Butler, Mayo has one piece of advice - stop being so emotional! He talks about how Butler has no leverage as a restricted free-agent, and the Patriots are in the right. Mayo stresses to Butler that insurance can offset any fears for playing for what he believes his market value is.

 Giardi goes 1-on-1 with Saints reporter Nick Underhill about the latest rumors from the owner's meetings regarding Malcolm Butler, and how his acquisition could prevent Drew Brees from considering going to a title contender when his contract is up in 2018.