Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Middays with MFB on Friday, following the team’s final preseason game of the season Thursday night. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo joined Middays with MFB on Friday, following the team’s final preseason game of the season Thursday night. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

The big news around the team this week was the trade of stalwart offensive lineman Logan Mankins to the Buccaneers.

“It’s always tough when you lose a brother like Logan, a guy who’s been here his entire career,” Mayo said. “At the end of the day, we still recognize that it’s a business, and decisions have to be made. Coach [Bill] Belichick obviously felt that was the best thing for this team for now and for the future.

“It’s tough. Anytime you go through multiple training camps, multiple seasons with a guy, it’s tough to lose a brother.”

Mayo communicated with Mankins after the trade.

“Obviously he was hurt a little bit,” Mayo said. “Like I said, we’re a family here. As his teammates we stick together through thick and thin. But he also recognizes that it’s a business. Sometimes moves have to be made, and we all have a time. NFL they always say stands for ‘Not For Long.’ We have to enjoy these moments that we have with each other, because you never know when it’s your last.”

The team must reduce the roster to 53 players by 6 p.m. Saturday. Despite his status as one of the veteran leaders, Mayo said he still gets uncomfortable when a staff member walks through the locker room to contact players who will be cut.

“Honestly, and I know you guys will probably think I’m full of it, since my rookie year I’ve always had this: Anytime a guy goes around grabbing people, I never look him in his eye. Because you never know when your time’s up. You never know when your time’s up,” he said. “I just always keep my head down and go to work every day and try to go out there and do my job, man, and hopefully everything falls into place.”

Mayo did not see any preseason action, although he has been practicing with the team and looking forward to playing again soon.

“I’m very excited to get back out there on the field,” Mayo said. “Obviously I didn’t get a chance to play in any preseason games. It’s up to coach Belichick, whatever he wants do to. … I feel good, I feel good. The team, they’re looking good, It’s almost time when the games really count.”

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, whom Mayo said the team calls “Pancho,” got a chance to show what he can do in Thursday’s game against the Giants, and there have been calls for him to unseat Ryan Mallett as the No. 2 QB on the depth chart.

“Jimmy, he can make all the throws,” Mayo said. “He’s a very mobile guy. He hasn’t had a lot of scrambles, but he can move around in the pocket well, he’s very athletic, he’s young. And who better to learn from than Tom Brady. Tom is a Hall of Famer and someone that’s great to learn from. I think he’ll be pretty good.”

For more Patriots news, visit the team page at weei.com/patriots.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jimmy Garoppolo had all week to prepare himself for his first NFL start at quarterback.


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two days to get accustomed to a brand new NFL playbook may seem overwhelming to many in the game.

But to new Patriots tight end Tim Wright, it’s just part of the job. He caught four passes on six targets for 43 yards from Jimmy Garoppolo on Thursday night in a 16-13 loss to the Giants at MetLife Stadium.

“You know, it’€™s a great opportunity,” Wright said. “This is a great organization led by great coaches and I’€™m just taking it one day at a time. You know it’€™s still early, I’€™ve got a lot to learn and I’€™m just ready to go.”

Wright, wearing No. 81, appeared ready to assume the role that the Patriots have been missing since the departure of Aaron Hernandez. When Logan Mankins was traded to Tampa Bay on Tuesday, Wright clearly felt comfortable enough to give it a try right away.

“I mean, it’€™s business,” Wright said. “Football is football so it’€™s easy to get prepared. We’€™ve got great coaches, like I said, to get me ready and I was ready to go.”

How surprised was he by the trade?

“You know, I know the business, things happen and you have to stay ready, you have to stay on your toes and that’€™s what I did.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — It would be understandable if Aaron Dobson had some hesitation in his game Thursday night in the preseason finale.

But despite having a pin placed in his left foot in March to help a stress fracture heal, Dobson looked like his old self, catching three passes for 57 yards while being targeted nine times in a 16-13 loss to the Giants. The most impressive play was his leaping 33-yard grab over a defender along the deep left sideline on a pass from Jimmy Garoppolo.

Dobson not only had to run the “go-route” aggressively, he had to out-jump the defensive back for the ball and then land hard on the turf.

“That’€™s just instinct,” Dobson said. “At that point in time, I’€™m not really worried about my foot, I’€™m just playing football.

“It was long process: from sitting out the offseason to sitting in the film room to starting to run. It just feels really good to get back out there on the field and be with my teammates.”

Dobson said there was one thing not quite up to par – his game conditioning.

“It felt good,” he said. “You know, I got tired at times but I’€™m improving.”

Now Dobson can go about the work of competing with a deep group of receivers that includes Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Brandon LaFell, Kenbrell Thompkins and Brian Tyms, all of whom got significant playing time in the preseason before Dobson took his first snap Thursday night.

“It’€™s going to bring the best out of you, Dobson said. “I feel like our receiving corps is close and we have a brotherhood going on, but at the same time we’€™re competing. Us being that close is just bringing the best out of us.”

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia
Jimmy Garoppolo stands in the pocket and fires a pass Thursday night at MetLife Stadium. (Getty Images)

Jimmy Garoppolo stands in the pocket and fires a pass Thursday night at MetLife Stadium. (Getty Images)

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Jimmy Garoppolo had all week to prepare himself for his first NFL start at quarterback.

Yes, it was just preseason but Bill Belichick wanted to give the rookie a simulation of what the work load is like getting ready to take all the snaps in practice and then take of them in a game.

The result? A bit of a bumpy start but a productive night and in the end, invaluable experience commanding an offense that is regarded as one of the most complex in the game.

He had a couple of underthrows and incompletions that resulted in punts on the first two series. He threw a first half interception when Josh Boyce appeared to turn the wrong way on an in-cut pass. And he took a bad sack in the fourth quarter.

But through it all, he finished 22-of-42 for 284 yards, a 71.9 rating, and a beauty of a touchdown toss to Aaron Dobson in the first half. He also directed the Patriots down the field in a two-minute drill before halftime with a pair of sideline passes, showing poise and skill.

How did Garoppolo feel overall?

“You know, it could have gone better,” Garoppolo said. “There was definitely some things that, you know, we messed up on, fixable things and things to learn from when you watch the film.

“I’€™m not sure. I don’€™t know. It’€™s one of the things that we’€™ll see on the film, whatever it was, that we weren’€™t clicking like we should’€™ve been. We’€™ll fix it.”

Garoppolo definitely appeared to find his groove late in the first quarter and into the second, when he led the Patriots to 10 points and a halftime tie.

“I felt pretty comfortable from the beginning, but you know, just gradually, I mean that’€™s how every game is,” Garoppolo said. “You start to pick up what they’€™re trying to do and how they’€™re trying to do it, so just gradually got more comfortable.”

Bill Belichick would not commit to whether Garoppolo had done enough to beat out Ryan Mallett and win the No. 2 quarterback job behind Tom Brady. Garoppolo said that competitive dynamic didn’t create any stress in the quarterback room.

“You know, me and Ryan, and Tom [Brady] as well, we all have good relationships with one another, help each other out, and those two guys have helped me more than anyone probably. It’€™s the same as it always was.”

Does Garoppolo feel ready to assume the No. 2 spot behind No. 12?

“Yeah, ready to do whatever they ask me to do,” he said. “Whenever an opportunity comes, whether it’€™s first, second, third, whatever it is, you have to be ready for it and I think this preseason, going into the games with the mindset that I was the starter and just preparing like that, it really helped me get ready for that.”

Here’s are more highlights from Garoppolo’s postgame press conference Thursday night at MetLife Stadium:

Q: Were you impressed with Tim Wright and the fact that he just got here?

A: Very intelligent player. He picks it up very quickly and he’€™s pretty athletic, too. He had a heck of the game along with all the other tight ends and receivers and running backs. They all played well tonight.

Q: Has it been a good week for you as far as you’€™re the guy, your ability to work through things, just get the experience on and off the bus, playing in a stadium where they just played the Super Bowl past year, just the whole week experience? Pretty good experience for you?

A: Yeah, very good. It’€™s one of those things that hopefully I look back on it in a couple of years and I really learned a lot from it and just take it and try to take the next step now. Now I know what a normal week is like for preparing to start and everything like that and it will only help me going forward.

Q: On the long touchdown pass to Aaron [Dobson] on the left side, can you go back through sort of what you saw on that?

A: Yeah, he had a go route and went up and made a tremendous play for me. It’€™s nice having receivers like that on the outside, big body guys who could go up and make a play for you and that’€™s what he did. It was a nice catch.

Q: Was that your first read on the play [the touchdown to Dobson], or were you going through your progressions there?

A: Going through it, yeah. I mean he beat the guy and just got to lay a ball up there for him to go get and he did that.

Q: On the flipside, what do you remember about the interception? What happened on that play?

A: The ball got away from me a little bit, sailed a little high and you know you can’€™t sail one high with defenders behind the receivers. That’€™s what happens when you do that. It’€™s a learning experience, wish it wouldn’€™t have happened, but you got to learn from it and keep it down next time.

Q: Has this been a whirlwind when you look at it? Preseason’€™s over, that’€™s done, and training camp’€™s over. I mean, has it moved really quickly?

A: It was slow in the beginning, but now that I look back on it, it flew by. I’€™m sure that’€™s just part of being a rookie, but it was a good first training camp, first preseason, learned a ton and hopefully it will benefit me later on in my career.

Q: Jimmy, in announcing that you would start this week, I think Coach [Bill] Belichick had mentioned he wanted you to experience everything that went into being a starting quarterback, including this aspect of it, the media aspect of the game. How would you describe the experience he wanted you to have through your eyes?

A: I think it was very beneficial. Coming from a small school, we didn’€™t have media like this. It’€™s good to experience the outside the locker room stuff, what goes on, the production meetings, you know, all that stuff. Like I said, I think it will only benefit me in the long run and I’€™m happy with what happened this week.

Q: How difficult is it for you to understand the offense? What I mean by that is, did you even have a playbook your senior year of college? You go from your senior year and not having a playbook to the Patriots playbook. Explain how difficult that has been.

A: It was an adjustment, it definitely was, but you know, that’€™s the NFL for you. I mean everyone has a playbook, it’€™s like learning a different language, and it’€™s just something that you have to adapt to and adapt quickly.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia assesses the performance of Patriots rookie quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who played the entire game in the Patriots’ 16-13 loss to the New York Giants in the preseason finale Thursday night at MetLife Stadium. The game also featured the Patriots’ debut of tight end Tim Wright, acquired in a trade for Logan Mankins this week.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia

With the final preseason game in the books and the final round of cuts looming this weekend, here’s one last shot at predicting the final 53-man roster.



EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Bill Belichick may very well know already who will serve as the back-up quarterback to Tom Brady this season.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Bill Belichick may very well know already who will serve as the back-up quarterback to Tom Brady this season. But after Jimmy Garoppolo played every offensive snap of Thursday’s 16-13 preseason-ending loss at MetLife Stadium, he wasn’t really in a mood to share.

After Garoppolo went 22-of-42 for 284 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, Belichick was asked if he’s come to some sort of conclusion about his back-up quarterback.

“No,” Belichick replied.

Is Mallett still the de facto No. 2? “I haven’t announced about any starters or anybody,” Belichick said.

Reminded that Mallett was the No. 2 last year, Belichick offered this insight.

“Last year doesn’t have anything to do with it,” Belichick said. “This year is this year. This year is this year. This year is this year.”

Garoppolo played in all four games this preseason, going 46-of-79 for 618 yards, with five touchdowns and the one interception Thursday night.

Mallett, who did not play a single snap Thursday, appeared in three preseason games and was 14-of-26 for 161 yards, with one touchdown and no interceptions.

Blog Author: 
Mike Petraglia