New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is ready to move on without linebacker Jerod Mayo, who suffered a right knee injury during the Week 6 game against the Buffalo Bills on Oct. 12.
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is ready to move on without linebacker Jerod Mayo.
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Belichick told ESPN Boston's Lee Schechter that New England has to make the necessary adjustments without Mayo, who suffered a right knee injury during the 37-22 Week 6 win over the Pats' AFC East rivals, the Buffalo Bills:
"New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick says his team has to be ready to move on without linebacker Jerod Mayo.
"Mayo was carted off the field with a right knee injury and was seen on crutches after the game wearing a compression sleeve. He is scheduled for an MRI on Monday.
"Belichick was asked on his Monday conference call about how the team can move on if Mayo's injury causes him to miss significant time.
"'Well, it already happened yesterday,' Belichick said. 'You have to get big contributions from other guys -- some at the linebacker position, some at other positions as well -- see how it all comes together. Keep our fingers crossed for him. See exactly what his situation is, but we have ready to move on without him.
"'So we will have to put multiple groups, multiple players to do some things that he did. I don't think there's one player that's going to run this team and do all that Jerod did. We were lucky to have him, let alone a guy who can do all that too. It will come from a combination of guys somehow.'
"One of the players who could be looked upon to contribute is undrafted rookie linebacker Deontae Skinner. Skinner recorded a big sack on Kyle Orton on a delayed blitz -- a signature play Mayo likes to make.
"'(Skinner) has certainly done some positive things, and if he can keep sustaining a hard work ethic and stay on the field every day and keep getting better, I think he will have a chance to have a decent career and certainly be able to continue to help us,' Belichick said.
"Defensive coordinator Matt Patricia is dealing with a quick turnaround as the team has three days to prepare its defense for the New York Jets on Thursday night, likely without Mayo, the quarterback of the defense.
"'Well, obviously we have to prepare to go here with the Jets, and whoever is available and ready to go. I think in situations like that where it occurs in a game, when anybody with an injury situation comes up, everybody else has to step and increase their role and their responsibility and everyone just needs to do more,' Patricia said.
"'So certainly with a guy like Jerod, he is a great leader for us and communicator and signal-caller for us on the defense. So when a player like that is removed from the game, then obviously communication is the biggest thing we are focused on to make sure everybody is on the same page.'"
In a separate ESPN blog by Schechter, Belichick is all praises for wide receiver Brian Tyms, who has given the Patriots a huge lift:
"New England Patriots wide receiver Brian Tyms provides a boost to the team's receiving corps with his size and ability to get down field. Head coach Bill Belichick credited assistant Michael Lombardi, who coached Tyms in Cleveland, as being a factor in bringing Tyms to New England.
"'(Lombardi) definitely helped,' Belichick said. 'We didn't really know a lot about him, but I think we were kind of surprised that he was available, especially when given Cleveland's receiver situation after they had a couple things happen up there. During camp we obviously knew about the four games he would miss, but we felt he would be a good competitive player for us up in camp. He was all of that and now he is on the roster, so that definitely helped lead us to him.
"'And Tyms has really done a good job,' Belichick added. 'He's come in and worked really hard. He's one of the first guys here and last ones to leave. He's diligent about his work and preparation, and in the time that he missed, as soon as that was over he came back and was right here at 6:30 in the morning ready to watch film, work out, get back into it. It's kind of been like that since he returned a couple weeks ago -- the week prior to the Cincinnati (Bengals) game.'
"At 6-foot-3, 204 pounds, Tyms is a tall and long receiver with high-end speed. Before serving his four-game suspension, Tyms had a strong rapport with rookie quarterback Jimmy Garropolo throughout the preseason. Despite not taking snaps with quarterback Tom Brady until his return from suspension, Tyms made his mark Sunday on a 43-yard touchdown pass from Brady in triple coverage.
"'Tyms was able to climb and get on top of Graham, and Gilmore is to the outside of him, so the coverage looked tight -- it was tight -- but I think the key for Tom was when Tyms was able to get past Graham and he definitely was able to get over the top of him,' Belichick said. 'He was able to get behind Graham, so Tom was able to throw the ball away from Gilmore and Gilmore could not get over the top on the catch.'
"Tyms showed impressive body control, awareness and hands to make the big touchdown grab -- the first of his career.
"'He has good speed and an ability to get down the field,' offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said. 'Many of those situations become a one-on-one situation, and the defender is going to go up there and fight for the ball and you have to go right up and fight with him.'"
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