Mayo checks in at OTAs

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo addressed reporters on the game field at Gillette Stadium after Thursday’s organized team activity.

Here a handful of highlights from the question and answer session:

There was a lot of barking on the sidelines about concentration. Is it different at this time of year compared to when you guys get going in the fall as far as that’s concerned?

“We try to practice just as hard now without pads as we do with pads. Even though we’re not actually hitting each other, we’re out there going hard. We’re out there being safe but at the same time trying to get those looks and making sure everyone is on the same page, especially when people get tired.”

Now that you’ve been in the league for a while, do you become essentially a teacher?

“I try to go out there and lead by example. This is my fifth year and I’m one of the old guys on this side of the ball. We have great coaches who pretty much handle all that. Coach [Matt] Patricia, Coach [Bill] Belichick, Coach [Pepper] Johnson really take control of the classroom and make sure everyone understands.”

This is the first season you’re coming into with a long-term deal. Does that increase your leadership on this team? You’ve already been a captain and a leader but even more so now?

“I’m just going to try to do the same things that got me the deal. Try to go out there and lead by example and get better each and every week.”

What are your thoughts on Dont’a Hightower and what he looks like in the early portion of this year?

“The only thing I can really talk about is in the classroom. He’s come in, he’s worked hard and he’s learned a lot. That’s a question you have to ask Coach [Bill] Belichick and Coach [Matt] Patricia – how he looks on the field. I’m looking around but from what I can see he’s done a good job.”

Have you picked a song for karaoke at Zolioke [Zoltan Mesko’s karaoke fundraiser]?

“I don’t know if I’m going to sing. I might sing something, I don’t know. What should I sing – a little Sam Cooke, old school Sam Cooke? I don’t know what I’m going to sing, I’ll be there though.”