The New England Patriots have perfected the “one day at a time” mantra over the last two decades under head coach Bill Belichick. One of his former players and current assistant coaches is taking the same approach right now: Jerod Mayo, who is a candidate to take over as the next head coach of the Denver Broncos.
The Broncos requested an interview with Mayo shortly after the firing of Vic Fangio, and he is expected to talk to them at one point. Right now, however, he is invested elsewhere.
Mayo’s focus is on the Patriots’ upcoming wild card playoff game against the Buffalo Bills — something he made very clear during a media conference call on Tuesday.
“Right now, all my focus is on the Buffalo Bills,” Mayo said. “I’ll absolutely take the interview, but right now, like I said, it’s all about the Bills.”
He later repeated his remarks but did acknowledge the request as an opportunity to take the next step on the career ladder.
“It’s great,” he said. “But at the end of the day I will say this: right now, I’m fully focused on the Buffalo Bills, but it’s definitely a huge opportunity. Hopefully, one day, I’ll get a chance to coach a team.”
Now in his third year as the Patriots’ inside linebackers coach, Mayo is a popular name in coaching circles. The 35-year-old, who appeared in 111 games for the organization between 2008 and 2015, already did a head coaching interview last offseason.
While the Philadelphia Eagles ended up hiring Nick Sirianni, Mayo getting a head coaching opportunity sooner rather than later would not be a surprise. As he pointed out on Wednesday, the support he continues to enjoy in New England is a big reason for that.
“Bill [Belichick]’s been great with that stuff. He’s been an open book for me, whether we’re talking about Xs & Os or structure of the team, or anything like that, he’s been great,” Mayo said. “[Matt Patricia]’s been a great resource. All these guys have been great resources for me. But really, like I said, the focus is on this season.
“But, at the same time, development has always been a huge factor for me as far as coaching is concerned. There are a bunch of guys around here — including Josh McDaniels and even a guy like Jedd Fisch, who’s been here and been with different teams — who have been great mentors and great resources for me.”
Only the Broncos have reached out to Mayo so far, but other clubs might still follow suit. Before any of that happens, though, he will continue to help out his current team as best as he can.
This week that means getting the team ready to play the Bills, and maybe to extend his time in New England by another week.