FOXBORO — It seems like an annual event — the guessing game as to whether or not the starters will play in the last preseason game of the year.



FOXBORO — Few people knew their way around the old Meadowlands like Bill Belichick.



FOXBORO -- Patriots third-year linebacker Jerod Mayo said Monday that he is ready to assume the linebacker leadership position held for many years by Tedy Bruschi and Mike Vrabel. Mayo, 24, said he's still learning the Bill Belichick system but now feels comfortable in teaching younger players what is expected on defense every game. 

 

 Patriots coach Bill Belichick joined The Big Show to discuss the team and its prospects for the coming week against the Giants and into the regular season. One of the biggest storylines throughout the preseason has been that starting running back Laurence Maroney has not had a carry in each of the last two games. Belichick continued to stress that it's not worth reading into.

 

 

Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison, speaking on a conference call this afternoon, said his old team is “fed up” with the amount of trash talk coming from the Jets, and the Patriots have their Week 2 game against New York “circled” on their calendar.

“You better believe, the Patriots have that circled with the Jets,” Harrison said. “They hate the Jets, but they hate them even more because they’ve been coming out saying, ‘This is our division.’ ”

FOXBORO -- Patriots coach Bill Belichick took a no-nonsense stand Monday in addressing whether or not he would play starters in the preseason finale against the Giants this Thursday night at New Meadowlands Stadium. 

 

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork and defensive lineman Damione Lewis joined the Dale & Holley show on Monday morning to talk about Thursday night's disappointing loss to the Rams and what will need to be improved in the final preseason game against the Giants.

 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady made his weekly appearance with the Dennis & Callahan show Monday morning and talked about coach Bill Belichick's reaction to Thursday's 36-35 preseason loss to the Rams. "He gave it to us pretty good on Friday after the game and then again yesterday," Brady said. "There's always a running joke with our team [about] the humble pie. He was serving it on Friday. It was just what we needed. We didn't go out and play very well. Hopefully, we can learn from it and move on."

 

The Patriots have just announced they have re-signed defensive back Terrence Johnson and released offensive lineman Brian Simmons. Johnson, 5-foot-9, 190 pounds, was originally signed by the Patriots as a rookie free agent out of California University of Pennsylvania on April 20. He was released by the Patriots on Aug. 23. Simmons, 6-foot-4, 318 pounds, is a rookie free agent out of Oklahoma who was signed by the Patriots on Aug. 15. He first entered the starting lineup for Oklahoma at left guard as a senior in 2009.

An injury to Jets linebacker Calvin Pace could clear the way for a reunion of Rex Ryan and former Patriots linebacker Adalius Thomas.

Pace, who broke his foot in the third quarter of Friday’s game against the Redskins, will reportedly be out a few weeks with the injury. That could leave New York in the market for a free agent linebacker like Thomas, who played for Ryan in Baltimore when he was the defensive coordinator with the Ravens.