The Denver Broncos, who parted ways with head coach Vic Fangio after three seasons, are eying a member of the New England Patriots as a potential replacement. As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Broncos have requested permission to interview Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo.
Despite being only in his third season as an NFL coach, Mayo is already one of the hottest names on the market and no stranger to head coaching interviews: he was a candidate for the Philadelphia Eagles’ vacancy last year.
While the Eagles did not end up hiring him, the 35-year-old has earned plenty of respect across the NFL for the work he has done with the New England defense. His relative lack of coaching experience does therefore not appear to be a turn-off for teams.
Mayo, after all, also saw his fair share of football during his playing days.
Originally arriving in the league as the 10th overall selection in the 2008 draft, he quickly made a name for himself as a hard-hitting middle linebacker. Earning Defensive Rookie of the Year honors, the Tennessee product became a cornerstone of New England’s defense and went on to appear in a combined 111 games before injuries caught up with him and forced him into an early retirement in 2016.
Three years later, Mayo returned to the Patriots organization as an assistant coach. Where his journey will still take him remains to be seen, but becoming a head coach is one of his career goals.
“I definitely aspire to be a head coach in this league,” Mayo said earlier this season. “At the same time, I would say I’m really focused on this season. We’ll see what happens at the end of the year.”
As far as the Denver job in concerned, Mayo will compete against at least four other candidates. The Broncos also asked permission to interview Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy and Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett, as well as the Dallas Cowboys’ Kellen Moore and Dan Quinn.