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A conversation with LB Jerod Mayo Craig Thomas

Q)What was your first thought when you saw that you were facing the Jets this week?

Mayo: I knew it was going to be a difficult game. Anytime you play a team three times in a year, you know them well, they know you well. So, it will be a difficult task for us.

Q)Has it been easier jumping back into preparation having only played them a month ago?

Mayo: Yeah. We played them a couple of weeks ago, so you go in and we still know what they do. But, at the same time, they do a little bit different things in the playoffs. Against the Colts, they showed some different looks. So, we still have to study film and study these last couple of weeks that we didn’t play them.

QHow different do you expect this game to be compared to the last one?

Mayo: I think it will be very different. They had a couple of different looks against the Colts. They got [Mark] Sanchez out of the pocket a little bit, trying to protect him.  

Q)What did you think yesterday of the back and forth between what Coach Rex Ryan and Coach Belichick said?

Mayo: I let Coach Belichick handle all that stuff. I’ll give you a ‘Belichick answer.’

Q)In reality, how hard would it be for either team to try to do something different because of your familiarity with each other?

Mayo: I think it would be very difficult. Both teams won a good amount of games this year. You don’t want to change too much and get away from what got you to this point. There will be a few different looks, but at the same time, it will be pretty much the same.

Q)Are you starting to explain to the rookies more often now about how important the details are?

Mayo:  I am stressing that to those guys and hopefully they’ll get it done. I think those guys have done an excellent job putting the extra time in the film room and doing all the little things to make this defense successful.  

Q)Did guys stress that to you when you were a rookie?

 Mayo: Yeah, Tedy Bruschi, Rodney Harrison, all those guys, they were on me. They were on me tough. 

Q) What’s Vince [Wilfork]’s role as a captain been like this year?

Mayo: Vince has done an excellent job as far as getting the guys together. That’s been a rotating door in that defensive line room and he’s really taken them under his wing and got them in the right place.

Q)There has been a rotating door on the defensive line, but also in the locker room, too. How would you describe this year as opposed to your first two in terms of the new faces?

Mayo: Yeah, we’ve had a lot of injuries. Coach Belichick has done an excellent job getting guys ready [and] prepared. Like Eric Moore, he came in that week, played well for us and has played well every since.  

Q)There were a lot of people questioning your defense at the beginning of the season. How many of those doubters have you guys answered in the last five games or so?

Mayo: Every time you have a young defense, you have to stay on top of everybody. That Cleveland game is still in my head, so I try to go out and work hard each and every week and make sure that everybody else does the same thing so we don’t have another repeat episode of that.

These guys have really been stepping it up the last couple of weeks and hopefully it continues. 

Q)Do you think it’s an advantage having a Bye Week while the Jets were playing?

Mayo: I think so, just getting people healthy, getting everybody back in. But, we really didn’t know who we were going to play, so what we did was try to get the Patriots better and I think that’s what we did.

Q)Is the Jets offensive line one of the more challenging ones that you’ve faced because of how big it is?

Mayo: I think so. All across that offensive line is experience and those guys do an excellent job opening up holes for LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene. Those are two different running styles. LaDainian has obviously had an explosive year and Shonn Greene is a downhill pounder. We have to prepare that way.