The NFL Network has been unveiling the top 100 players of 2010 – as voted on by the league’s players – ten players at a time, and last night was for players ranked 70 to 61.
It was also the night when the first of five Patriots to make the list appeared: Jerod Mayo.
The third-year linebacker came in at number 62, and was presented by Bill Belichick.
Off the top, Belichick talks about Mayo’s frugality.
“The 10th pick in the draft, obviously the big contract and I think about all he has is two trucks and a house a half-mile away from the stadium. So he keeps it close to the vest; he’s a football guy,” he said.
In a clip taken at a Pats’ practice, Belichick tells another player that Mayo is conservative – “I think he has the first dollar he ever made,” he quips.
A couple of other quotes from Belichick from the piece:
“He makes a ton of tackles – he made a ton of tackles at Tennessee…put him at inside linebacker you could see his range, his explosion, sideline to sideline. We brought him in for a pre-draft visit, being able to sit down and talk to him was very impressive in terms of his overall understanding of the game. Maybe the best interview I’ve had since Ray Lewis.”
“The players elected him captain his second year – I think that speaks to his leadership and the respect that he has on this team.”
“When he leads the league in tackles like he did last year it’s hard to single out one, but I think that some of the plays he’s made where he chases guys down across the field or quarterback scrambling out of pocket and the sack against Fitzpatrick last year against Buffalo…His range and his tackling ability are really outstanding.”
“Although he’s an emotional player, he’s not a very demonstrative player, you know, he does his job, he plays hard and I think his teammates rally around that because he does make a lot of positive plays for our football team.”
Mayo was bookended in the countdown by two Dolphins: Cameron Wake at 63 and Brandon Marshall at 61.
Former New England DL Richard Seymour came in at No. 66 and was presented by his former defensive coordinator Romeo Crennell.
While it isn’t easy to select the top 100 players in the league based on their play last year, there is certainly quite a bit to debate based on the results, and two of the biggest arguments to this point involve Cowboys: receiver Miles Austin came in at 70, ahead of the Packers’ Greg Jennings at 74; and quarterback Tony Romo – who played just six games last season – was 72nd.