(on preparing for the game)
"I've been watching film for a long time now. They're playing good football right now, running the ball, passing the ball, so you've just got to try to take away some of the weapons. You've got to try to contain them. I don't know if you can really just stop them all together because (Giants QB) Eli (Manning) is hot right now. The running backs are running the ball well, the offensive line is blocking well, so we've just got to do a good job trying to contain them."
(on trying to contain the offensive weapons the Giants have)
"They're clicking on all cylinders. It's like, 'What do you do? Who do you take away?' Do you try to take the run game away and then you open up passing lanes and you try to take the pass game away and then you have(RB Ahmad) Bradshaw and (RB Brandon) Jacobs and (RB D.J.) Ware running the ball, so it's like what do you do?"
(on the team's mood)
"I think this team is ready to go. Everyone is working hard. Yesterday after media day I saw guys in there watching film and they're still studying to prepare for this game. I think the sense of urgency is there and we've just got to keep it going."
(on if he's enjoying the atmosphere)
"Definitely, but we're not out here to go to all the festivities and concerts and things like that. We're out here to win a football game. That's our mindset. Even though we have a young team, we have a focused team, a hungry team ready to go."
(on some Giants players predicting victory)
"To be honest with you, they're a great team. They wouldn't be in this game if they didn't have a good team. It's good to have that type of confidence. That's their opinion and we'll play the game on Sunday."
(on the mindset today after an off day yesterday)
"It's go back to work and pick up where we left off. Guys were still studying yesterday, so it wasn't a true off day. I think guys really know that this is a big game. The sense of urgency is there, and everyone is ready to go."
(on keeping the routine similar to the routine all season)
"Obviously this isn't normal right here, but at the same time we're pretty much isolated from everyone. They set it up so it's just like our complex pretty much. We feel comfortable in the hotel and comfortable watching film here and practicing."
(on if the team is excited to play)
"It's like counting down days before Christmas. Guys are very excited and anxious to get on the field."
(on if keeping the routine the same plays a big part in preparation)
"Definitely. I think the coaches have done an excellent job making it feel like home and making everything the same except for things like this, obviously. We're ready to go, we're ready to rock, and doing the same things we would be doing if we were back in Foxborough."
(on how Head Coach Bill Belichick has organized the week)
"Meeting rooms are the same. Meeting times are the same. He's still getting on us about little things, and that's the way we like it."
(on other linebackers he looks up to)
"I've always been a big fan of (former Tampa Bay Buccaneers LB) Derrick Brooks my entire career. He was a great linebacker who could do it all; cover, he could tackle, play the run, do it all. Also (Baltimore Ravens LB) Ray Lewis. Obviously the career that he's had is a great career and he's a great player."
(on if his body feels better after a bye week)
"Definitely the body feels better. We're getting guys back healthy and it's huge. This will be our third bye week, right? We had the first round bye, we had the regular bye week, and now this one. So guys are getting back healthy and it's always good to have that extra week of preparation."
(on learning from the group of linebackers before him)
"I didn't feel pressure at all. I was fortunate enough, like you said, to come in with (Tedy) Bruschi, Junior (Seau)was here, Rosevelt Colvin. All those guys really took me under their wing. I really didn't have to do too much. I just had to be a sponge and learn as much as I could from those guys, and they taught me a lot."
(on how he was able to adjust to the level of play in the NFL so quickly)
"I think it came from my upbringing. My grandfather always taught us about work ethic, and then coach John Chavis at Tennessee taught me how to study film and break down film and be a professional. He's a great coach."
(on his expectations prior to being drafted and if they've been met)
"To be honest with you, the year before I got here they won 18 games and lost in the Super Bowl. It's like, you go first round to a team that won 18 games, it's no pressure. If they need me to come in and play on special teams and that's it, I was willing to do that. This is everything I expected. Great owner, great coaches, great teammates, and no selfish players on this team and I like it like that."
(on the Patriots finding key contributors that went undrafted)
"I think that's just a testament to the scouting department and Coach Belichick just finding guys that no one else wants. He brings us all here for a reason and that's to win football games."
(on getting motivated for the game)
"Any time you're playing with an extra chip on your shoulder, it's huge. That extra motivation can go a long way, and then it's the Super Bowl on top of all that. I think guys are ready to go and guys are focused on the game."
(on the role that former teammate Tedy Bruschi played in his development)
"A huge role. I learned a lot from Bruschi not only on the field, but off the field as well. He's a huge figure in the Boston area, in the New England area, in the community and he's a great player. I learned a lot about studying film from him. All the things that he's done, it's hard to even think about matching what he's done for the community."
(on if he's glad to really be getting down to the game plan)
"Definitely. I'm ready to start tightening down all the loose nuts and bolts and get this game plan in cement and see what we can do on Sunday."
(on if he's worried about Indianapolis Colts QB Peyton Manning helping his brother Eli prepare for the game)
"To be honest with you, I'm not worried at all. We're going to go out here and prepare like any other game. Peyton is a (University of Tennessee) Vol, so hopefully he'll take it a little easy on me. I know they're probably breaking down film together, but they're great quarterbacks. Eli is playing as good as anyone is right now, and he'll be a tough challenge for us."
(on the evolution of the tight end position)
"I'm not sure, to be honest with you. I think sometimes tight end is a forgotten position, but now everyone is kind of looking towards them and they're making a lot of plays deep down the middle of the field and spreading them out, moving them to different positions, and I think it's been huge for the game."
(on if it's difficult to cover tight ends)
"Well, in the deep part of the field, sometimes it is when you have a tight end streaming down the middle and have two good wide receivers on the outside. It's like, 'Who do you take away?'"
(on being a team leader)
"To be honest with you, I didn't come in here trying to be a leader or anything like that. I just try to lead by example and go to work every day, bring my hard hat. I'm a blue collar kind of guy, so I just like to put in the hours and put in the work and hopefully guys follow."
Super Bowl 2012, Jerod Mayo: Full Interview Transcript From Wednesday
(on preparing for the game)