New England Patriots

Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Zolak and Bertrand on Wednesday morning to discuss everything from the end of New England’s season to future defensive adjustments.

As part of the interview, Mayo addressed comments from former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison regarding the so-called ‘softness’ of the defense.

“I think those guys are definitely physical,” Mayo said. “Where there times where it did look like we got soft? Absolutely. But overall, I would not call us a soft defense. At the end of the day, it’s about points and how many points we gave up.”

Mayo opened with a reflection on this past season that ended with the New England defense allowing 47 points in a playoff loss to Buffalo.

“Every season is going to come to a crash landing, except for one team,” Mayo said. “We didn’t play as consistent as we needed to play, especially against good teams.”

Mayo noted the successes of New England’s defensive unit in the regular season, while also highlighting specific physical needs in the offseason.

“If you zoom out and look at the season as a whole, we ended up third in scoring defense and seventh in yards,” Mayo said. “You always want to get faster, especially in today’s game. That’s at all spots. What we cover here is versatility and smarts.”

As a former first-round pick at linebacker, Mayo discussed the makeup of the position in the modern game.

“There is really no right answer to that question,” Mayo said. “A lot of teams want to get smaller, and then in the playoffs, you run into a Tennessee Titans team where the running back is bigger than your linebackers. I think you want a combination. You would want to have a linebacker that is big, fast and strong that could do all those things. Those guys don’t come along, especially where we draft.”

While Mayo is a growing candidate for other jobs around the NFL, his comments reflect his commitment to building a winning defense in New England.

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