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Jerod Mayo Press Conference Transcript

Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo addresses the media during his Super Bowl XLVI press conference at the team hotel on Sunday, January 29, 2012.

(on how happy he is to be in Indianapolis)
"As soon as we landed, you really could feel the feeling really hitting that we're at the Super Bowl.  We're down here on a business trip.  We're down here to win, so we're going to work tomorrow."

(on how much Head Coach Bill Belichick has emphasized a sense of urgency)
"I think a sense of urgency is already there without Bill even having to say a word.  Guys are coming down here ready to work.  We're not worried about all the distractions of the Super Bowl, but at the same time we're going to enjoy the experience but go out here with the goal to win the game."

(on the pep rally prior to the team leaving for Indianapolis)
"It was nice.  Our fans really gave us a great going away gift with the pep rally, and hopefully we can bring back a victory."

(on if it will be better when he goes back)

(on LB Brandon Spikes return to the lineup)
"Spikes is a great player.  He brings a lot of energy to the game.  Any time you lose a guy like that, it's pretty tough on a defense.  We have that next man up mentality, and guys really stepped in and helped fill the void, but it's good having him back in the lineup."

(on how that will affect covering New York Giants TE Jake Ballard)
"To be honest with you, I'm not sure.  For most of the game last time we played them we did a pretty good job until the end of the game, so I'm sure we'll make some adjustments and try to get the job done with multiple people.  He's a great tight end and he's a great weapon for (New York Giants QB) Eli (Manning)."

(on what he's saying to the rest of the defense going into this week)
"It's a one game season. Nothing else matters.  None of the stats from the regular season, none of the stats from the postseason matter.  It's all about Sunday, and that's our focus."

(on the impact of the team's younger players)
"The first and second-year players have done a great job.  We were just talking about Brandon Spikes for one.  The energy that he brings to the game and just the intensity that he brings are huge for us. Those guys have really helped us along the way."

(on if he's getting any input from the players on the team that have been through this experience)
"(DT) Vince Wilfork, he's the only guy on the defensive side of the ball that's won a championship, but (RB) Kevin Faulk, he's a great leader in the locker room.  He's won multiple championships.  He tells us to come down here and enjoy the experience, but at the same time, it's a business trip and it'll be that much better if we treat it that way if we happen to win."

(on if he talked to any former patriots)
"Those guys haven't really…they were happy for me. I talked to (Former New England Patriot's LB Tedy) Bruschi, I talked to (Former New England Patriot's Safety) Rodney (Harrison), those guys were happy for me, but at the end of the day, they know the job wasn't done after the AFC Championship game and we have to continue to win."

(on how much he takes from the team's first matchup with New York this season and how much they've changed since then)
"They're a lot better team now than they were then.  They beat us back then.  You could take a little bit as far as the personnel, but as far as our game plan is concerned, you really can't take too much. They've had an extra week to prepare - so have we - and I'm sure we'll have a lot of different looks from them."

(on the New York Giants missing WR Hakeem Nicks and RB Ahmad Bradshaw during their first matchup this season and how they'll affect the game plan)
"Those guys that you named are explosive players and they've made a lot of explosive plays this postseason, so they'll be a great challenge for us."

(on if it has soaked in yet that he's on such a big stage)
"Yeah, it has.  As soon as I got off the airplane, it was like, 'Wow, I'm finally here.'  Hopefully we can come away with a victory."

(on if he's seen any changes in the play of New York Giants QB Eli Manning since the first game)
"He's on fire in the postseason with nine touchdowns, one interception, something like that.  He's making all the right decisions, all the right throws, and he's making plays with his legs that he wasn't making during the regular season.  So he's a great threat, a great player."

(on what he's seen from their running game)
"(RB) Ahmad Bradshaw and (RB) Brandon Jacobs and (RB D.J.) Ware as well, those guys are very talented.  You have Jacobs, the downhill style runner, you have Ahmad Bradshaw who is really like a scatback but he's still strong at the same time, then you have Ware coming in on third downs who has great hands and can make a lot of plays in the screen game.  So you have a lot of weapons in the backfield."

(on the New York Giants being the worst rushing team in the NFL)
"To be honest with you I don't know, and at this point in time it doesn't even matter.  Like I said earlier, it's a one game season.  They have three great running backs and I'm not sure who we'll see, but I'm sure we'll see all three of them at some point in the game."

(on LB Brandon Spikes' pink suit that he wore to the pep rally)
"I think it's great.  He said that's his lucky suit.  He's been wearing it since his Florida days when he was winning championships at Florida.  I told him to wear it.  I like it and it's his own personal style."

(on this being a business trip mindset)  
"It is.  It's a business trip, and we talk about all the parties and things going on during this trip, how we need to ignore all that stuff and focus on the Giants and it will be that much greater when we get back.  We talk about sacrifice as far as off the field, sacrifice staying in the film room and things like that, so that's what we're coming down here to do."

(on treating this like a normal week)
"It's very important.  Like you said, we have a little nice streak going on here so we don't want to change anything up, and at the same time putting that extra effort in as well to prepare for these guys."

(on how much it will help to get in town today and have a normal routine)
"Just the continuity of coming down here and having that normal week is huge.  It's worked these last couple weeks.  We've won how many games in a row?  Nine games in a row?  10 games in a row?  It's been working and hopefully it continues to work this week."

(on if it's been difficult to not get too high emotionally)
"I wouldn't say it's been difficult, because I think as it gets closer to the game, then it will probably become difficult, but coming off the plane today…well actually, leaving the stadium today with the pep rally, that's when it really sunk in and I know I'm at the Super Bowl and on a big stage.  It's a great feeling."

(on if he's gotten any advice from teammates who have been here before)
"Yeah, those guys told us to approach it like a regular business week, even though that's hard with all this stuff going on.  It's very hard, but at the same time, we have great leaders who have won championships. (QB) Tom (Brady), you have (RB) Kevin Faulk, (DT) Vince Wilfork, and obviously Coach (Bill) Belichick, so those guys just tell us to keep our cool and continue to do the things we've been doing these last 10 weeks."

(on if being at this media session makes it more real)
"It does.  Just being around this many media members, even though our media is pretty big, but it's just a surreal moment for me.  I feel fortunate to be here."

(on preparation for the game)
"I feel like we're still in the infant stages. We still have a lot of work to do.  That's why we're down here now, so we can have a regular work week and try to approach it like a regular work week.  I'm sure at practice tomorrow it will feel regular."

(on how Head Coach Bill Belichick keeps the team focused)
"He always tells us to ignore the noise. Ignore everything going on around you.  Any time you have great leaders around you that have won championships like (QB) Tom (Brady), and (DT) Vince (Wilfork) and those guys, they continue to have that presence in the locker room.  Ignore everything else going on.  Ignore the media, ignore the parties going on, and it will be that much better if we're fortunate enough to win the game."

(on the sendoff from New England fans)
"It was great.  The pep rally was great, our fans were great, and that's when it really sunk in that we're going to the Super Bowl."

(on if he noticed all the decorations during the pep rally)
"We did.  People were stopping on the interstate waving us goodbye, so it's a great feeling and we're on the big stage."

(on how it felt to be a part of the pep rally)
"To be honest with you, it's a feeling I've never had before.  Even though college (football) down in the south is huge, it was real special today."

(on what it means to do things the Patriot way)
"Like I said earlier, just ignoring the noise and working hard, continuing to chip at the rock.  I think we have great examples around the facility in Mr. (Team Owner Robert) Kraft and Coach (Bill) Belichick.  Those guys, they never waver.  They always stay on the straight and narrow, and that's a great model for us."

(on Head Coach Bill Belichick demanding a lot from his players)
"To be honest with you, he's very demanding and that's the way we like it.  Any time you don't have those demands, it's kind of like, 'What's wrong with coach?" We like those high expectations from our fans, from our coach, from our owner, and we welcome the challenge."

(on his feelings headed into this week)
"I'm sure I'll be anxious as it gets closer to the game, but right now I'm just enjoying everything, all the sights and things like that."

(on how the team ignores the noise)
"It's tough.  I'll be honest with you, it's tough, but at the same time I'm sure coach will keep us in meetings for a long time, so we won't hear any of you guys."

(on if the loss against the Giants earlier in the season was a turning point for the team)
"We approach every week the same.  It was a tough loss for us going into the fourth quarter with the victory and losing that way and we pride ourselves on being mentally tough and things like that, so it was gut check time after we lost that game.  Fortunately enough, we were able to rattle off a few wins."

(on if it's different being on a bigger stage)
"Yeah, it feels a little different.  A lot more of you guys around here, but at the same time, I like it.  It's really sinking in that I'm at the Super Bowl."

(on if he's finally got the feeling that he's reached the Super Bowl)
"Actually, when we were leaving the stadium I got that feeling. That pep rally and just seeing people stopped on the interstate waving us goodbye.  It's a great feeling, the support that we have back home."

(on if Giants QB Eli Manning's ability to evade the pass rush is something they'll be focusing on)
"To be honest with you, he's making a lot more plays this postseason with his legs.  On those third down conversions and things like that, he's on fire. He's thrown one interception in the postseason.  He's a dual-threat weapon right now, and he'll be a great challenge for us."

(on how the team is approaching this week)
"We talk about a one-game season.  We're on the biggest stage in sports.  Everyone has something to prove this week.  No one wants to go out there and lay an egg.  We're going out there prepared, and hopefully we'll come away with a victory."

(on if it matters to him that the team will be wearing home colors)
"No, it doesn't matter at all.  I'm not really superstitious like that, but it feels good to have a home game."

(on if he hears any of the trash talk going on)  
"We hear it sometimes, but at the same time we always talk about ignoring the noise.  We're focused on this game.  They have a great team, great players.  Whatever their opinion is, that's their opinion."

(on if Head Coach Bill Belichick's no-nonsense philosophy pays off during a time like this when there are a lot of distractions)
"Definitely.  He reminds us every day this is a business trip, and that's the way we're approaching it."

(on if they'll do more of their talking on the field)
"Yeah.  We always talk about ignoring the noise and letting people do what they do, and in the game you have to play between the lines.  That's our mindset."

(on having fun when he plays)  
"Well, winning is fun.  We've won 10 in a row now, and hopefully we can get one more."

(on what it means to him to have reached this point)
"It means a lot.  Everything we've been through this year, we've had our trials and tribulations, been through a lot as far as injuries are concerned.  Just being able to make it to this point and be on a big stage with a lot to prove, as far as a team in general, it means a lot to me."

(on being on a billboard with Giants QB Eli Manning)
"I did see it.  I appreciate that, but at the end of the day it's all about the team.  That's always been the picture. It's all about the team."

(on if the mindset is to stop the Giants' running game)  
"They have so many weapons.  The first time we played them they were without (WR Hakeem) Nicks and some of those other guys, but they still had dangerous running backs in (D.J.) Ware, (Ahmad) Bradshaw and (Brandon) Jacobs.  All those guys have their own special talents, and they're unique in their own way.  Jacobs is a big guy, Bradshaw is a small, quicker guy, and Ware has great hands on third down, so they all have their talents.  I think it's all about stopping the run, trying to make them one-dimensional, but at the same time it's easier said than done.  The way Eli is playing right now is as good as it gets."

(on what he liked more, the Ugg Boots or the headphones that he received)
"I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  I like them both.  They both were great gifts and they both were free, so it's always great when they're free."

(on LB Rob Ninkovich)
"Ninkovich was a long snapper, but Coach Belichick does a great job finding gems, and Rob has come in and worked hard.  He's a smart player, he has physical skills - he does it all.  And he's a vital piece of this defense."

(on the vibe that the fans may take the side of Giants QB Eli Manning since he is the brother of Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning)
"I'm not sure what the vibe is going to be like.  We're approaching this like any other game.  I'm sure the stadium will be pretty split, hopefully, and loud throughout the entire game.  So hopefully that's the way it is."

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