Whereas the New England Patriots’ coaching staff saw some significant turnover on the offensive side of the ball over the last few weeks, all signs point toward no change taking place on defense. Of course, that was not a guarantee heading into the offseason.
One assistant coach in particular was a hot commodity on the market: linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. However, despite receiving interview offers from the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers, the 36-year-old decided to stay put.
Keeping Mayo around is a good move for the Patriots. Why? Defensive tackle Lawrence Guy recently explained.
“Jerod is a good coach and he has an aspiration of trying to get better,” Guy said in an appearance on the Next Pats Podcast.
“Coming from a former player, he gets it — been on the field, put the hand in the dirt, and understands from both sides now, he has to be coming in with words to inspire people and to uplift them. ‘This is what we have to do. When I was a player, this is how we did it. Make these calls, you can try this. This is going to be your failure, this is going to be your success.’”
A first-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2008, Mayo spent eight seasons with the club as a player — appearing in 111 regular season and playoff games and winning one Super Bowl ring. A series of injuries forced him to retire in 2016, but he returned three years later to take over as New England’s inside linebackers coach.
Despite being a position coach by title, Mayo’s role within the Patriots defense is a prominent one. In fact, he served as a de facto co-defensive coordinator alongside Steve Belichick for the last few seasons.
As such, he received interest from several clubs. He interviewed for the Philadelphia Eagles’ head-coaching position in 2021, and did the same with the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders last offseason.
This year, the Panthers and Browns were interesting in talking to him — for head coach and defensive coordinator, respectively — but Mayo declined the opportunities to stay in New England.
“You can see what he does for the team,” said Guy about him. “He talks with us every day, regardless of role, making sure we understand what we have to do. And he allows us to speak our words: ‘What are your thoughts? I want you vocal.’ That’s the thing about him: you can’t sit there and retain, retain, retain. You’re going to have questions, so he wants you to be vocal enough to understand what’s going on. What are your concerns? How can we fix it?
“And if we can’t do anything, this is what’s going to hurt us on it, so make sure this doesn’t happen. I feel like we did a good job to retain him, and I know he loves the city — his family’s in that city, he played in that city. I think a bright future for him is going to come, and he’s going to have so much more accomplishments in his career.”