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Saturday, July 10, 2010
Mayo looking forward to training camp

By Scott Barboza

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Participants of the New England Patriots Alumni Club’s “Football For You” camp at Classical High School on Saturday were surprised when Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo showed up with teammates Patrick Chung and Tyrone McKenzie in tow.

July is the time on the NFL calendar when coaches, front office personnel and players alike get in a last bit of relaxation before the rigors of training camp and regular season. Still, Mayo and his teammates are keeping busy around Foxborough.

“I get up in the morning and go training, come home, and then go training again,” Mayo said. “I’m trying to get my body ready for the grind. It’s a long season and I’m trying to punish my body now to get ready for [training camp], so it doesn’t feel as bad when it comes.”

As Mayo prepares for his third NFL season, he doesn't know who will see the majority of snaps to his side at the other inside linebacker position.

“I’m not sure how that’s going to work out,” Mayo said. “I think Coach [Bill] Belichick and Matty [Patricia] have plans for us on how the linebackers are going to play out. We just have to go to training camp and compete.”

As the competition for the spot alongside Mayo heats up in August, it is likely that fellow third-year backer Gary Guyton, second-round draft pick Brandon Spikes and McKenzie will share time at the position.

Mayo was asked whether there is a chemistry that needs to be developed between linebackers to be successful, similar to that between a quarterback and his wide receivers.

“It is a little bit like that. But during training camp, they mix and match guys all the time, so you build that relationship over time.”

More than 100 campers between the ages of 11 and 14 received instruction from a dozen former Patriot greats at the free clinic and learned a host of football skills at seven different stations.