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Defensive signal-calling falls to Guyton

Posted by Christopher L. Gasper, Globe Staff  September 16, 2009 12:27 PM

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FOXBOROUGH -- With Patriots middle linebacker Jerod Mayo out with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee, one of the questions is who is the quarterback of the defense?

Mayo led the huddle and had the green dot on the back of his helmet indicating that he had the defensive coach-to-player communication system in it.

With Mayo out his duties now fall to linebacker Gary Guyton, who replaced Mayo in the middle and as the defensive play-caller against Buffalo on Monday and is likely to do the same this Sunday against the Jets.

"Right now, I think Gary is going to take control of the huddle and make the calls defensively and we go from there," said safety James Sanders.

The Patriots used signals from the sideline against Buffalo's no-huddle attack.

"[Defensive coordinator] Dean [Pees] was signaling to him and signaling to the secondary from the sidelines what we had to do," said safety James Sanders. "That's what we did for the most part. Gary was taking charge. He was the one leading us defensively in the huddle."

But when they did use the communication system it was Guyton who had the other helmet with the green dot, signifying the communication system was in his head gear.

"Gary was the one who had the other one," said Sanders. "When Jerod went down they just started signaling. When we did talk using the headset it went straight to Gary."

Sanders said replacing Mayo will be a group effort, not just on Guyton.

"Like I said you can't replace Jerod," said Sanders. "There is only one Jerod Mayo in the league, but we got a lot of young players who can play and a lot of guys who got to step up and fill his role."

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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