The 32nd ranked defense just took another hit, losing Jerod Mayo to a knee injury. Without Mayo in…
Mayo Improving, But Still Not There
--Linebacker Jerod Mayo hasn't played in two weeks due to a knee injury. The Patriots are hopeful he will return soon, but there's no real timetable yet.
"Jerod's definitely getting better," coach Bill Belichick said. "He works hard as he always does. He got a few days away from here, so he had a few days of healing and treatment. ... It will be great to have him out there, whenever that happens."
Room To Improve
--Believe it or not, the Patriots still see room for improvement offensively. Offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien is targeting specific areas.
"We definitely did a lot of self-scouting, looking at different situations -- some of the things that we've been doing well (we want to continue to do) and we'll try to improve on things we haven't been doing so well," O'Brien said.
"You know, I just think situationally we've done OK, and on third down, (one of the) places we can improve is like third down in red area. ... We'll continue to do the things we're doing well and improve on the things we're not doing so well."
Kraft Looks At Bottom Line
--Owner Robert Kraft hasn't had much to complain about with the Patriots' 5-1 start. For now, all is good in Foxboro.
"Think about us in our last game," Kraft said prior to last week's bye. "I'm still thinking about that Buffalo game because it's a game I feel we should have won, but you look at the Dallas game, and you think how good they are, and how we won that game at the end and the team coming together and Tom (Brady) leading a great drive.
"The bottom line is that here we're going into the bye and we're 5-1, and you know, it's the eighth time in franchise history, in our 52 years, that we're 5-1, and I think having this extra week off at this time is a good thing."
--LB Dane Fletcher is one player worth watching in practice this week. He's had a thumb problem all year and did not practice during the bye week. With no injury report filed, it's hard to say if the rest was precautionary or if another flare-up occurred.
--DL Albert Haynesworth, who has had sporadic attendance in practice all year, was present during the last day of practice during the bye week, and he should be ready for this week's game in Pittsburgh. His role is yet to be determined.
--WR Chad Ochocinco has struggled in his first season with the Patriots and figures to get less playing time as the year progresses. Ochocinco has yet to catch a touchdown pass, and he hasn't made an impact on the offense.
--WR Taylor Price could benefit from Chad Ochocinco's struggles. The Patriots might soon decide to make a change in the rotation and give Price an opportunity to be an outside threat in the second half.
--LT Matt Light played through pain in the final minutes of New England's win over Dallas two weeks ago, though no one knows what the injury was. The Patriots likely will keep a close eye on his status this week.
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