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.
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.