The New England Patriots’ coaching staff saw some significant turnover this offseason. One of the biggest moves made by the club was actually not a change at all: the Patriots were able to retain linebackers coach Jerod Mayo on a new contract extension.
What that new deal entails remains to be seen, but talking to reporters on Tuesday at Gillette Stadium, Mayo claimed that he will continue to work closely with the defense. A new title, meanwhile, has not yet been attached to him — and might not be, after all.
So, why did the 37-year-old stay in New England rather than pursue other potential opportunities? Family was a part of the decision, as was his experience in the organization and region.
“I love it here in Boston. I pretty much was raised here in Boston. I came here in 2008. It would take a lot for me to leave. This is where I want to be, and I feel the same way from the coaching staff and also from Mr. Kraft,” he said. “I wanted to be here because I feel like we do it right here.”
Mayo added that he would be, “confident in the plan they have put together for my development.”
A first-round draft pick by the Patriots in 2008, Mayo went on to become an integral part of the team’s defense over the next eight seasons. When he retired in 2016 due to a series of injuries, he had appeared in a combined 111 regular season and playoff games, was voted to a pair of Pro Bowls, and earned one Super Bowl ring.
Three years after his retirement, he returned to New England to serve as an assistant coach. Mayo initially worked with the inside linebackers before expanding his responsibilities and working with the entire position group. He also served as a de facto co-defensive coordinator alongside Steve Belichick.
Moving forward, Mayo is trying to build on his foundation to ultimately reach his goal of becoming an NFL head coach. The process has already started.
“There are some things that they allowed me to participate in. Not exactly sure as far as the role, that’s a [Bill Belichick] question,” he said before specifying: “I was in some of the interviews during the interview process, which was a great experience for me. Offensive line interviews and also the offensive coordinator interviews, so it was good.”
Mayo added that he would also hope to be part of New England’s draft room next week. Regardless, his goal remains the same: learn.
“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m excited to continue to grow, I’m excited to continue to learn new things — not only Xs and Os, that’s only a small part of it. I’m just excited, and honestly I’m just trying to be a sponge and learn as much as I can.”