Patriots

Linebackers coach Jerod Mayo impressing Patriots players at minicamp

Linebackers coach Jerod Mayo impressing Patriots players at minicamp

This offseason, the New England Patriots faced a lot of turmoil on their defensive coaching staff. Once Brian Flores left to take the head coaching job with the Miami Dolphins, the team brought in Greg Schiano to be their defensive coordinator. Schiano had held the role at Ohio State and had previous experience as an NFL head coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

However, Schiano abruptly stepped down shortly after taking the job, and that left the team high and dry at the coordinator position. The Patriots didn't move to immediately fill the void, and it was reported that Bill Belichick would be calling plays for the defense this year.

Belichick did add some coaches to his defensive staff, and one of the biggest ones was Jerod Mayo. The former Patriots linebacker and captain joined the team to coach the inside linebackers. But now, it seems that he could end up with a bigger role at some point in the future.

Mayo was involved with the defense at Patriots minicamp, and he helped Belichick to call plays during the practices. Apparently, he's doing a great job, as many players were complimentary of what the first-year coach brought to the field. 

“The same stuff (Mayo) carried when he was a player, he’s definitely still got it,” linebacker Dont’a Hightower said, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic. “He’s a hell of a coach. Honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less. He’s got so much knowledge and so much wisdom that he brings – not just as a football player. He’s definitely done it. He’s seen it. He’s played it. The reputation that he has, he’s an all-pro, so it’s great to have a linebacker coach who has been through so much and can relate to a lot.”

“You know, it’s impressive,” said Kyle Van Noy of Mayo's coaching per Albert Breer of the MMQB. “I didn’t get to play with him [as a Patriot]. I missed him by a little bit. But since he’s gotten back in the building, I’ve come to admire how hard he works and the energy he brings each and every day. He’s consistent and his leadership is contagious. He does a really good job.”

Mayo was always regarded as a great leader during his time with the Patriots, so this is far from surprising. It makes sense that he could have a rapid rise through the coaching ranks as a result of that leadership ability.

Belichick getting Mayo involved in the play-calling would seemingly bode well for his future as a potential option at defensive coordinator. That may not happen this year, but either way, Mayo's involvement in the defense will be something to watch.

3 And Out: Which player impressed most at minicamp?>>>

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Crazy stat reveals how unlikely Josh Gordon's sideline catch vs. Jets was

Crazy stat reveals how unlikely Josh Gordon's sideline catch vs. Jets was

Josh Gordon's skills as a receiver are unquestioned. He's been a Pro Bowler and he has a career average of over 17 yards per catch.

On Sunday afternoon against the Jets, those skills were on full display as he skied over Jets cornerback Darryl Roberts to make a phenomenal 28-yard reception on third and 22. Gordon somehow got both feet inbounds to set up a first-and-goal, and a Patriots touchdown just three plays later.

Watching it in real time — and again in slow motion — the grab was highly improbable. Now we know exactly how unlikely it was.

According to NFL's Next Gen Stats, the play had only a 15.8 percent chance of resulting in a completion. That's the third-lowest completion probability of any completed pass so far this season.

Making the catch even harder? Gordon had injured his hand earlier in the game when trying to block New York's Trumaine Johnson — and that's after going to the blue medical tent earlier in the game after a hard fall.

No wonder Phillip Dorsett called him a "warrior" after the game. 

Tom E. Curran's Preview/Review for Patriots-Jets>>>>>

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Tom E. Curran's Patriots-Jets Preview/Review: New England didn't dominate

Tom E. Curran's Patriots-Jets Preview/Review: New England didn't dominate

While the Patriots defense once again dominated for a fourth straight game, dating back to last season's Super Bowl, Sunday's win over the Jets wasn't as overwhelming as it could have been.

Though New England jumped on top early and raced out to a 30-0 lead, the offense stalled in the second half thanks in part to injuries and absences. Meanwhile, the Pats allowed defensive and special teams touchdowns to ruin a bid for a second straight shutout.

So what did Tom E. Curran get right about Sunday's game? And which predictions failed?

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