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Robert Kraft on Jerod Mayo: “Strong candidate” to follow Bill Belichick as head coach

Mike Florio and Chris Simms reflect back on Dont’a Hightower's nine years in the NFL, where the LB had a tremendous career with the Patriots.

Jerod Mayo was a longtime player for the Patriots and he’s back for a fifth year as an assistant coach after passing on chances to interview with other teams, so it’s little surprise that some have wondered if he may be thought of as a possible successor to Bill Belichick as the head coach in New England.

There’s no sign that Belichick’s departure is imminent, but Patriots owner Robert Kraft didn’t dismiss the possibility that Mayo could be the team’s next head coach. In an interview with Judy Battista from the league meetings this week, Kraft called Mayo a “strong candidate” for that role while noting that the team has “other good people” on hand as well.

In other comments to reporters, Kraft said that “there’s no ceiling on [Mayo’s] ability to be a head coach” and that he he hopes “he’s with us.” Kraft added that he’ll “do everything I can to make” sure that Mayo remains with the Patriots for the long run.

Mayo’s title has been inside linebackers coach, but he has been seen as a de facto co-defensive coordinator with Steve Belichick in recent seasons. Kraft said that reporters should ask Belichick if Mayo will be getting a different title this season.