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Bill Belichick mum on whether Jerod Mayo is calling defensive plays

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Mike Florio and Charean Williams draft the teams that are best suited to knock off the Patriots in the AFC this year.

It may be the preseason, but Patriots coach Bill Belichick already is in midseason stonewalling form.

Asked Friday by Tom Curran of NBCSportsBoston.com whether newly-arrived defensive assistant Jerod Mayo is calling the defensive plays, Belichick answered with a non-answer.

“We’ll always do what we feel is best for the football team, Tom,” Belichick said. “That’s what we always do, so I don’t see that really changing.”

So Curran asked whether Mayo is calling the defensive plays.

“We’re doing what’s best for the football team,” Belichick said.

As explained during Friday’s PFT Live, it appears that the Belichick has decided that thumping opponents on the road in the preseason is what’s best for the football team. Last year’s 3-5 road record forced the Patriots to play the AFC title game in Kansas City, and the Patriots nearly lost.

This year, Belichick already has discussed the importance of performing better away from home -- and he seems to be doing what he can to cajole the players to turn it up a notch when turning up in a city outside of Massachusetts. As evidenced by last night’s 31-3 win over the Lions.