Mayo stays close as camp draws near

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It's not exactly prime season for those wanting to catch a glimpse of Patriots players around Gillette Stadium. With three weeks until the start of training camp, many players have returned home to continue training for the upcoming season and squeeze in a last-minute vacation.

Some players, though, stick around. Quarterback Brian Hoyer spoke about why he prefers to stay close two weeks ago, and this week, ESPNBoston.com had a chance to catch up with linebacker Jerod Mayo, who has also remained in town.

"I'm around here. I'm always around here. This is our home," Mayo said. "I see guys in and out. We have a lot of guys that hang around. This is the best place for us to grind, and a lot of guys are doing that."

Mayo made a guest appearance at the Harvard Pilgrim 5k and 10k "Finish at the 50" races at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday evening. Among the runners were former Boston Marathon winner Geoff Smith and well-known wheelchair team Rick and Dick Hoyt.

However, the nearly 7,000 competitors haven't been the only ones pounding the pavement. Mayo said the team's linebackers recently trained with long-distance running of their own.

"I ran five miles a couple weeks ago. The linebackers and I. It's a long way," Mayo said. "But I don't think I could do what these guys are doing and the time that they are doing it. It's very impressive."