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Thursday, September 29, 2011
Mayo: Numbers don't lie with D

By Mike Reiss

AP Photo/Charles KrupaJerod Mayo said the Patriots' defense needs to step up its game.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo just held a news conference at Gillette Stadium, and he didn't sugarcoat his thoughts on the team's defense. It hasn't been good enough.

Asked if the defense is better than the numbers suggest, Mayo said, "I think we have great players on our defense. At the same time, we have to go out and prove it on Sundays. To this point, we really haven't done that. The numbers are what they are. We have to go out and try to change those numbers. No matter how good you think you are, the numbers don't lie."

Told that there is nothing that stokes passions like a loss, and that the heat has been turned up on the defense from some media members, Mayo said it's not something he focuses on.

However, he did acknowledge a situation like this -- coming off a loss -- can be a rallying point for the defense.

"The same thing happened with Cleveland last year, and we continued to get better after that. I think we ran off a good number of games in a row," he said. "So hopefully that trend continues. ... You feel it in the locker room, just that sense of urgency to get better now. I wouldn't say pressure, but now is the time."

Mayo also touched on his history facing Raiders running back Darren McFadden twice in college -- Mayo was at Tennessee, McFadden at Arkansas -- and noted he's a home-run threat.

"Everybody to the football, it's all about rallying to the football when a guy like McFadden has the ball," Mayo said of the defensive approach this week.