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Jerod Mayo Makes Radio Debut on ‘Mayo Mondays’



New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is interviewed prior to the introduction of first-round cornerback Christian Gonzalez at Gillette Stadium, Friday April 28, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass.(AP Photo/Paul Connors)

On Monday, Jerod Mayo was a guest on WEEI’s The Greg Hill Show. It was his first appearance on the show since being named the newest head coach of the New England Patriots. Several topics were covered: hiring a coaching staff, offensive philosophy, team leadership, Mac Jones, the NFL Draft, and free agency. A look at Mayo’s thoughts.

Who is in charge of hiring the coaching staff?

“It’s all me at this point. Not all me,” Mayo clarified, “also Matt Groh, Eliot (Wolf) helping out, so that’s good.”

Jerod Mayo would confirm there is an interview scheduled with Nick Caley for the open offensive coordinator job. He would not confirm the same for Wes Welker.

As for the interviews:

“They’ve all been zoomed thus far. You want to hire people you like and are good at their jobs.”

Status of Belichick brothers being invited to stay

“Confirmed,” said Mayo. “We have a great relationship. They have the option to stay, they also have the option to go with their father if they would like to. So, still kind of going through it. I have a good relationship with both of them. They’re great coaches. We’ll see what happens.”

Relationship with Bill Belichick last season

“In my opinion it was fine. Just was focusing on the defense. A lot of the defense also played special teams, so we always tried to talk together. But it is what it is,” said Mayo, sounding very Belichickian.

“Coach (Belichick) and I have a good relationship. But right now, I’m just focused on this staff.”

Where is the offense going? What is the philosophy?

“You always want to have a quarterback that can extend plays. Now, in saying that you can be fast, but you can also have great pocket awareness. Look at a guy like Tom (Brady). He wasn’t fast but he had great pocket awareness.

“When it’s all said and done it’s about the players. One thing I took away from Coach Belichick is players win games, coaches lose games. So, we can talk all we want to about scheme or what we want to do, but if you don’t have players that are out there with a shared vision that are on the same page, then it’s going to be hard to score points. And that’s what it really comes down to.”

Leadership on the New England Patriots

“We have a lot of guys for a long time. I’m not sure what Slater’s going to do, but for a long time, he’s been a great leader in that locker room. We have great leaders defensively, we have (Deatrich) Wise, we have (Ja’Whaun) Bentley.”

Mayo did single out a specific position.

“The quarterback has to have some type of leadership ability. And hopefully, we can get to that point.

“You know David Andrews, great leader on the offensive side of the ball as well. Hunter Henry, great leader on the offensive side of the ball. But what I will say is, it’s hard to lead through tough times. And that’s when you really start to see people change, you really start to see attitudes change. People getting into small huddles and things like that.

“And that’s when people are looking for a leader. When everything is not going right, they’re looking for a leader. When things are going right, it’s easy.”

Did Mac Jones struggle in a leadership role?

“I’m not saying that. What I will say is when I think about Mac (Jones) he obviously has talent. And once again, we’re in the evaluation phase. I will say with that, the confidence of a player is very fragile, especially these players now. Like I’m an old man or something like that. But confidence goes a long way. And honestly, as I continue to evaluate, as we continue to evaluate as a coaching staff, we’ll see. But you know these guys can play football. They’re here for a reason.”

Players and coaches collaborating

“These guys are players, and at the end of the day, there has to be a shared vision. There has to be. The players have to really feel like they’re being heard. They have to feel like they have some stake in the game plan. So, if it doesn’t go right, the accountability piece starts to show up.

“Defensively, we’ve always tried to take the input of the players. They’re on the field. I always tell those guys, “Once you cross the white line, it’s yours. Here are the keys to the defense.” And I say every week there’s a canvas, a blank canvas, and I don’t care what picture you paint, just don’t paint off the canvas. And that’s when we’ll have a problem, if you get off the canvas.

Mayo summed up, “It’s more about awareness and those guys having accountability, and s shared vision for the team.”

Did the coaching staff let down Mac Jones?

“If you were to ask Mac Jones, he made mistakes along the way. Coaching staff, we made mistakes along the way as well. And I’m not just talking about the offensive coaching staff. One thing about Mac, everybody talks to Mac: special teams, defensive players, offensive players. And we were trying to help him with that confidence.”

“There’s enough blame to go around,” Mayo added.

Priority for the third pick in the NFL Draft

“We’re going to take the best available player for the biggest need on the team.”

Coach Mayo wouldn’t say what he felt that was but did list three positions. “Offensive line, receiver, quarterback.”

On Mac Jones vs. Bailey Zappe dividing the team

“Offensively everyone was frustrated. Coaches were frustrated, players were frustrated. On the defensive side of the ball, everyone did a good job just going out there to play.”

Mayo made it clear he did not think any split was personal.

“All those guys love Bailey. They all love Mac. It’s just who’s going to give us the best chance to win the game. And that’s what it came down to. And once again, it’s hard to get a whole locker room to say ‘This is the guy.’ We’re not talking about Tom Brady here, the greatest of all time.”

Diplomatically, Mayo stated, “I’m not going to say the locker room was split, but there were people who had differing opinions.”

“We’ve been spoiled for so long around here,” Mayo reminded the hosts. He added soon after, “But this is what happens in normal football towns on a yearly basis.”

Tapping into being a former player, like Dan Campbell with the Detroit Lions

“I’m just going to be Jerod; I’m just going to be me. It’s worked for me this far. One thing I’ll say about Detroit, they have good players on that team. They have good players. Now, if Detroit was still trash, what would people be saying? Former player doesn’t know anything.”

Assurances from Robert Kraft the Patriots will have the freedom to spend money

“We bringing in talent 1,000% Have a lot of cap space and cash. Ready to burn some cash!”

Expectations for the 2024 New England Patriots

“We’ll win more than four games,” assured Mayo.