FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- After his two-sack effort highlighted the Patriots' ability to pressure the quarterback in last week's exhibition triumph over the Buccaneers, linebacker Jerod Mayo said a player should never get too comfortable on the field.
"To be honest with you, that’s up to Coach Belichick to evaluate us," said Mayo. "You think you go out there and have a good practice, then all of a sudden you watch the film and it’s not as good as you thought it was, or not as bad as you thought it was. That’s up to those guys."
Mayo waited a beat before deadpanning, "Hopefully I’ll make the team, though."
Here are some other highlights from Mayo's five-minute Q&A with reporters, in which he also stressed the fact that New England's defense will offer multiple looks:
On getting pressure on the quarterback against Tampa Bay: "We did a good job of executing the game plan that Coach [Bill] Belichick has, [but] it changes every week. I'm very excited about the way we’ve started off."
On maintaining that pressure: "We're a very multiple defense, one week we may come out with pressure, the next week we might come out sitting back in coverage, so you never know. I think that’s a good quality of this defense."
On the importance of getting Albert Haynesworth back on the field: "He’s a great player and I’m sure when he’s healthy he'll get out there and make some plays for us.... He’s working hard to get back out there with the guys, and I’m sure he’s in his playbook, doing what he needs to do to be prepared to play when he comes back."
On paying attention to off-field incidents with teammates: "To be honest, when we come in here, it’s all about football. Even though we’re a family, we talk all football in here."
On the benefits of a disruptive defensive line: "Those guys, they've played excellent during the whole training camp. It’s very important for all of the linebackers for those guys to eat up a lot of those blockers and allow us to roam around."
On the challenges second-year players face: "You never want to get too comfortable. You think you know everything going into Year 2, but you don’t. You have to continue to work hard in the playbook and on the field."