FOXBOROUGH -- As Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo enters his third season, he sees an opportunity to be more of a vocal leader. That chance begins with offseason workouts.
Today, Mayo and other members of the Patriots were at Gillette Stadium lifting weights, running and watching film. For Mayo, who was a defensive captain last season, these are the moments that can affect a season.
"Conditioning is a big part of football," Mayo said. "We lost a lot of games in the fourth quarter, and that's one thing that we have to change and that starts now."
Players are following routines created by Patriots strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik and also using the time to build camaraderie, Mayo said.
As the players prepare for another season, Mayo said he can see ways he can be a more active part of the leadership.
"I think I can definitely step my game up as far as being a vocal leader on this team," Mayo said. "Last year, I still was a second year player. I still tried to lead by example but this year I think losing guys like Junior [Seau] and Tedy Bruschi, even though that was a couple of years ago, I think it was a void as far as having that vocal guy on this team in general.
"I think this year is the year when guys can really step up and say what they have to say. It's a young team as a whole and the young guys will listen."