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Patriots assistant Jerod Mayo named one of the NFL’s young coaches to watch

Related: The Patriots like their linebackers big. Let Jerod Mayo explain why.

NFL: OCT 24 Jets at Patriots Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jerod Mayo did not start his coaching career in the NFL until three years ago, but he has quickly become one of the hottest names on the market. The New England Patriots’ inside linebackers coach has already had one head coaching interview earlier this year, and appears to be a realistic candidate to one day leave the organization for an opportunity elsewhere.

It did therefore not come as a surprise to see Mayo named among the young NFL coaches to watch. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero compiled the list of such coaches, and Mayo is the Patriots’ lone representative:

Patriots ILB coach Jerod Mayo, 35: Still in just his third year in coaching, Mayo already has been on the radar for a couple of years as a legitimate candidate. The Eagles interviewed him for their head coaching job in January and came away impressed with his rare leadership traits. Before going into coaching, Mayo played eight seasons for Bill Belichick in New England, running the defense and relaying the signals for most of that time, including as a rookie to the veteran likes of Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi and Vince Wilfork. He now serves as the de facto coordinator of the NFL’s No. 2-ranked scoring defense. His pedigree and makeup are intriguing.

Sharing coordinator duties (in role not in title) with Steve Belichick, Mayo has played a big part in helping the Patriots build one of the stingiest defenses in the game. Along the way he earned plenty of respect across the NFL.

Mayo originally arrived in the league as the 10th overall selection in the 2018 draft, and 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 before injuries caught up with him and forced him into an early retirement in 2016.

Three years later, he returned to the Patriots as a member of their coaching staff. How long he will stay with the team remains to be seen, though.