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Perry: What exactly would Jerod Mayo do as Pats' assistant head coach?

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Jerod Mayo

Things don't always advance at lightning speed at One Patriot Place. Seems as though that's the case with Jerod Mayo's new extension with the team. 

Details on the contract were still being ironed out going into the weekend and the expectation is they will be hammered out relatively soon, I'm told. When they are, it'll be interesting to see if a title change comes with the "long-term" deal the Patriots announced was in the works over a week ago.

While Mayo has not been focused on an upgrade in title -- more opportunity to grow professionally has always been higher on his list of desires -- he could possibly end up with the "assistant head coach" title that Dante Scarnecchia held for the bulk of his time in New England under Bill Belichick.

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When Scarnecchia was named assistant head coach soon after Belichick took the head job in 2000, he had been interviewing for a gig in Green Bay. The new title offered by Belichick enticed Scarnecchia to stay in New England, and he held the title until his first retirement following the 2013 season. When Scarnecchia returned for the 2016 season as offensive line coach, he no longer had the additional title.

So what did it mean when he was assistant head coach? 

Essentially, Scarnecchia was assigned the head-coaching responsibilities when Belichick couldn't perform them. When Belichick left the team to attend his father's funeral in Annapolis in November of 2005, for example, it was Scarnecchia who began the day and ended the day for the team.


There were not added responsibilities when it came to contracts, trades or the draft. Scarnecchia was not impacting big-picture decisions with the team because of his standing as assistant head coach. It was a break-glass-in-case-of-emergency title given to one of the most well-respected assistants in football. 

However, it seems as though Mayo's standing with the team -- whether or not he's given an "assistant head coach" title -- could extend beyond the duties that were expected of Scarnecchia in that role. According to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated, Mayo has been in on the offensive coordinator interviews recently held between Belichick and five different interviewees.

With some uncertainty surrounding Matt Patricia's future role with the club, perhaps Mayo could take on something of an amalgamation of his own role as a lead defensive assistant, Scarnecchia's old assistant head coach role, and the role of trusted advisor that Patricia has held for the last two years in Foxboro. 

Patricia consulted with Belichick on the draft and free agency. He was in the room when Cam Newton was released, and Belichick trusted him to handle other areas on the periphery of the football operation. If he's no longer with the organization -- some of his colleagues believe he won't be with the team in 2023, I'm told -- then maybe Mayo could help fill that void.

The brain drain in Foxboro has been real over the last several years. Scarnecchia, Ernie Adams, Josh McDaniels, Brian Flores, Josh Boyer, Carmen Bricillo, Chad O'Shea, Brendan Daly, Mick Lombardi, Jerry Schuplinski, Nick Caserio, Dave Ziegler and Monti Ossenfort are among the names of trusted assistants both on the coaching staff and in the front office who've departed since 2018.

Mayo's soon-to-be-signed new contract and his presence during offensive coordinator interviews are signs that the organization is set on cutting off the outflow with someone they trust. Title or no title.