FOXBOROUGH — Every team has its glue guy. For Bill Belichick, he's fingered Jerod Mayo as his guy.
"I think he means a lot to our team," said Belichick in his Friday morning press conference ahead of the team's second training camp practice. "I would say he’s really the guy that the team probably revolves around more than any other player. Not that there aren’t other players that are instrumental in that. But I think that he really touches pretty much everybody. Not just the defensive players, but all the guys. Not just the older guys, but the younger guys."
Belichick wouldn't stop there though, getting noticeably loquacious over the seventh year linebacker and defensive captain.
"He’s got a great work ethic, great presence on the football field, and great personality," he said. "In a very good way, professional but he also has a good rapport with all the players and coaches. As respected as any player in the locker room. One of the best overall team leaders, players, kind of glue chemistry guy."
He even compared Mayo to Patriots Hall of Fame linebacker Tedy Bruschi — to an extent.
"I would say more Bruschi [than Mike Vrabel], but different," he said. "Tedy had a different personality, but a lot of the same characteristics."
Wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins got nice bit of praise, too, after coming down with two stellar catches in the team's first training camp practice.
"Hard working kid, hard working kid," Belichick remarked. "One of our hardest workers. Really tries hard to do everything right. Very attentive, very coachable."
Also of note:
- After a month off, the players and the coaches need a refresher on the team's playbook, said Belichick. "I’d say reinstallation. We teach once, but ... there’s a gap. We have to re-teach it and re-install it and re-familiarize ourselves with it. Part of that is part of coaching too. We haven’t been together for a few weeks."
- Belichick was, understandably, hesitant to call the team's first practice a success, or failure for that matter. "I think we saw a lot of things yesterday out there that we can build on, certainly a lot of things we can correct and improve on."