What to expect from Jerod Mayo in 2015
Jerod Mayo is entering his 8th season in New England and, by all accounts, this year will be his most important year. After back to back seasons in which he had season ending injuries, Mayo will be trying to get back to his consistent production which landed him the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in 2008. Not only did he have that one great season, he has also been named to multiple pro bowls over the years. Mayo will have a tough time getting back to that production considering that the Patriots have two young linebackers who have been very productive the past couple years. Both Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower have become crucial parts of the Patriots defense and both should remain starters for the upcoming season and beyond.
Mayo will need to prove that he can get back to what he was before his injuries because, if not, then his role will possibly be very limited. Mayo is in no way in danger of getting cut after renegotiating his contract this offseason. The team will need him to provide depth and, given that he knows the Patriots system, he will be a very important player for the team no matter what his role.
Mayo, a former top ten pick, is a leader for New England. His voice will be heard in the locker room during the week and on the field on game days. Given all that the team has gone through this offseason, having a leader like Mayo will be very important, regardless of what he produces on the field.
Given that Hightower and Collins have become such important parts of the team’s defense and the team added linebacker/defensive end Jabaal Sheard, Mayo’s production will most likely dip. The biggest goal for Mayo this year should be staying healthy and continuing to improve and help the team. If Mayo, along with Collins and Hightower, can stay healthy this year, then New England will have one of the best linebacking cores in all of football. Mayo’s production may not need to be what it was previously, but the team will still need him to be one of the leaders of the defense for years to come.