Jerod Mayo on MFB: 'We're not overlooking Oakland at all'

September 19, 2014 - 10:19 am

[caption id="attachment_79135" align="alignright" width="150"]Jerod MayoJerod Mayo[/caption] Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, who missed Thursday practice as he became a father for the third time, made his weekly appearance with Middays with MFB on Friday to preview Sunday's home opener against the Raiders. The Raiders come in at 0-2, but Mayo said the Patriots aren't overlooking them. "This is the third game of the season. Some teams are 0-2, but it really doesn't describe how a team is," Mayo said. "This is a veteran-led team. They have a of older guys, a lot guys who know how to play football in this league and have won a lot of games. So we're not overlooking Oakland at all. Obviously we're excited to open up here at Gillette. Hopefully it's a good game." Derek Carr is the only rookie quarterback starting this season, and the second-round pick from Fresno State has shown some promise. Said Mayo: "He has a huge arm. He's also very mobile. He'll get outside the pocket. A lot of people don't talk too much about his athleticism, but this guy can run. He can make all the throws. And he seems like he's a smart guy. They're obviously not trying to do too much with him, being a rookie, but at the same time, he can make all the throws and make all the plays. It will be a challenge for us up front trying to get pressure on him as well, and in the back covering these receivers." Fellow linebacker Dont'a Hightower is off to a strong start this season. "Ever since I came into the league, he's always been a student of the game. He's always studying," Mayo said."I think it starts in the classroom. This guy's asking questions, asking questions, asking the right questions. And it's translating over to the field. He's a very big, athletic guy that can run, and he can do a lot of different things for us. He's a versatile player. Whatever the coaches ask him to do, he's willing to do, and he's been helping us these first couple of weeks." The Patriots defense dominated the Vikings on Sunday after allowing a touchdown on the first series, helping New England to a 30-7 victory. "Obviously the score says it all. We were excited about that. We were able to get after him early in the game. I think it's all about winning first down, getting those long-yardage situations -- second-and-10, third-and-8 -- and then letting those guys pin their ears back and get after the quarterback. It was exciting to see last week. We're on to Oakland now, and we have to continue to build on that."