Jerod Mayo won’t be back in the New England Patriots’ locker room next season after the 29-year-old announced his retirement Tuesday. And that’s going to be a tough hole for his teammates to fill.
“First of all, I just think we’ll miss probably one of the best leaders that I have ever got a chance to play with,” McCourty said, via WEEI.com. “The thing I think with Mayo, he’s a special person. I think that is why going through the last couple years of his career — injuries, not being able to do the things he wants to do on the field because of rehab and different things like that, it didn’t bother him as much just hanging it up because he knows he has so much more he wants to do. I’m happy for him to be able to be at a space and time in his life where he’s OK not playing again.”
But while he’s happy for Mayo, the team still needs to fill his leadership and football roles.
“For us, from a football standpoint, it will be tough,” McCourty added. “That guy, no matter what, if he was on the field, if he was rehabbing, he kept the locker room light. He kept practice always entertaining and fun. I don’t think you will find a person in the building, top to bottom that doesn’t love Mayo and loved having him around. It will be tough.
“I don’t think we can replace him with a guy or even several guys. It will just be different, especially for me being there six years and him being there every year I was there. It will be tough going out here envision him playing and practicing and doing all those things not hearing his voice and him there in person.”
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