The New England Patriots have ushered in a new era with the formal introduction of Jerod Mayo as the franchise’s 15th head coach. The announcement took place at a press conference held at Gillette Stadium, marking Mayo’s transition from player to coach within the organization.
Mayo, a former Patriots linebacker drafted in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, spent his entire playing career in New England, amassing an impressive record as a seven-time captain and a key member of the 2014 Super Bowl-winning team. Following his retirement after the 2015 season, Mayo embarked on a diverse career path that included a stint as an executive in finance at Optum.
Returning to the Patriots in 2019 as the inside linebackers coach, Mayo made an immediate impact on the team’s defense. Under his coaching, the Patriots consistently ranked in the top 10 in total defense over the past five seasons, with the defense claiming the top spot in the NFL in 2019.
The transition to head coach sees Mayo stepping into the sizable shoes of Bill Belichick, who parted ways with the Patriots last week after an illustrious 24-season tenure. While acknowledging the influence of Belichick’s teachings, Mayo emphasized his unique approach and commitment to developing his coaching style.
“I’m not trying to be Bill. Bill is his own man. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a little different,” Mayo asserted during the press conference. “The more I think about the lessons that I’ve taken from Bill: Hard work works. That’s what we’re all about.”
Mayo, at 37, expressed a gardening analogy to describe his leadership style, emphasizing the cultivation of leaders within the team. He envisions his role as a gardener who tends to the soil, removes weeds, and nurtures the seeds for future success.
“I see it as gardening. They don’t grow anything; they just make sure the soil is right, grab the weeds, and water every day. That’s how I approach leadership,” explained Mayo. “I want to just water seeds. Right now, we’re planting seeds, and hopefully, that will lead to the next dynasty here with the Kraft family.”
Despite his lack of prior head-coaching experience, Mayo emphasized his commitment to collaboration and a willingness to learn. He outlined plans to build a cohesive coaching staff, evaluate the team’s roster for the upcoming season, and foster an environment of collaboration within the organization.
As the Patriots embark on this new chapter under Mayo’s leadership, team owner Robert Kraft expressed confidence in the former player’s capabilities, noting, “Football is Jerod’s true passion, and I believe coaching was always his destiny. His credentials garner respect, and he relates beautifully to the players.”