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Two players in particular have surprised Patriots coach Jerod Mayo at OTAs

New England Patriots coach Jerod Mayo admitted to being impressed by two players in particular during organized team activities.

One of those players is second-year defensive end Keion White, and the other is special teams veteran standout Brenden Schooler. Keep in mind, the Patriots are still early in the process. They haven’t even practiced with pads yet.

But Mayo has seen clear instances of growth from both players.

That’s a major positive for a Patriots team hoping to turn things around in 2024. The defensive unit took a massive hit when Matthew Judon went down with a season-ending biceps injury last season. So having White take that next step as a pass-rusher would help take some of the load off Judon, who turns 32 years old in August.

Meanwhile, Schooler will be looked at as the leader on special teams with legendary special-teamer Matthew Slater announcing his retirement back in February.

Patriots fans are hopeful some of those surprises come on the offensive side of the ball as well considering the unit ranked amongst the worst in the NFL last year. That unit’s improvement could mean the difference between winning and losing.

Story originally appeared on Patriots Wire