After last year's defensive coordinator Brian Flores departed for the head coaching gig in Miami, it was unclear who would call the plays with Bill Belichick as the de facto defensive coordinator. Ahead of the preseason, many Patriots fans eagerly awaited the moment when the camera panned to New England's sideline to display which defensive coach wore the headset.
Belichick had largely kept quiet — like he does with most topics — about who will assume defensive coordinator responsibilities, but NBC Sports Boston's Phil Perry has reported throughout the summer that linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is a likely candidate. After all, he did wear the headset in the first preseason game against the Lions.
On a radio hit on Monday on WEEI, safety Duron Harmon confirmed what many have speculated to be true: Mayo is calling the shots.
#Patriots safety @dharm32 tells @WEEI Jerod Mayo has been calling the plays (we all suspected. Belichick wouldn't confirm). Also on Mayo, notes "(he can) be the voice of the players. I understand what you're seeing too but this is what I would have seen as a player..."— Michael Giardi (@MikeGiardi) August 12, 2019
"Jerod (Mayo), obviously, he's been calling plays for us," Harmon said. "He's working at making sure he can get the play in on time. He's been doing a good job for us."
Mayo played eight seasons in New Englnad before retiring in 2015. Harmon noted that Mayo's playing experience has helped him relate to players and gives him an extra ounce of credibility.
Mayo joined the Patriots' staff this summer as a linebackers coach. With Mayo calling defensive plays and Josh McDaniels leading the offense once again, Belichick's coaching staff is falling into place as the season approaches.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.