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NEN XTRA – Mayo relying on Bentley to take the lead at linebacker

Patriots: New England Nation

New England took the 2020 draft seriously on the defensive side of things–drafting three rookie linebackers. It’s evident that they knew there would be some holes to fill–and that was before Dont’a Hightower opted out.

With a young crew of guys, linebackers coaches, Jerod Mayo and Steve Belichick have their work cut out for them. Each of them are very excited to take on the challenge of coaching a new-looking crew.

The most interesting part will be to see who steps into a leadership role that has been held by Hightower in the past. For Mayo, he’s looking to a guy who’s only played 19 games in his NFL career–Ja’Whaun Bentley.

After playing a part on the field in 16 games last season, Mayo said that Bentley is “now the man to step up and be a mentor.”

Even in only his third season, Mayo said Bentley is going to be seen as a veteran to the rookies.

“Every time he was on the field last year he was productive,” said Mayo. “Physically this guy is gifted. He’s a big, strong, fast linebacker…I’m excited to give him the opportunity to be out there for a while.”

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