Will the Patriots hire more former players as coaches?

With Jerod Mayo already on board as an assistant coach, could the Patriots also look to hire Kevin Faulk, Deion Branch, or Troy Brown as well?

The Patriots have wisely decided to let Jerod Mayo develop and mature a bit as a defensive coach on the sidelines before turning over full-time play-calling duties to him. Mayo, a longtime captain for the Pats during his playing career and the “Mike” responsible for defensive audibles, seems like he’s destined to one day become defensive coordinator if that’s what he wants – and what better place for him to do it than up in Foxborough under his old head coach in Bill Belichick?

For the time being, however, it appears Mayo will remain inside linebackers coach… which is still quite the task in and of itself. The Patriots appear to be loaded at linebacker in 2019 – they return starters Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy, and also feature a bevy of other talent like Jamie Collins, Elandon Roberts, Christian Sam, and Ja’Whaun Bentley.

With Mayo already proving himself a worthwhile addition to the New England coaching staff as a former standout player, it begs the natural question of whether certain other ex-players might have the inside track to coaching roles with the team this season?

Notably, former running back Kevin Faulk, as well as former wide receivers Troy Brown and Deion Branch, were in attendance during a handful of New England’s OTAs this past spring. And as NBC Sports’ Charean Williams points out, “it may have served as an internship or a tryout. Or both.”

The mass exodus of Patriots coaches and assistants following the team’s title run this past season has been thoroughly well-documented. Defensive coordinator Brian Flores, cornerbacks coach Josh Boyer, defensive line coach Brendan Daly, quarterbacks coach Chad O’Shea, and character coach Jack Easterby are just a handful of the more high-profile names that have departed Foxborough for “greener pastures” elsewhere.

It remains to be seen whether Faulk, Brown, or Branch even have any interest in coaching full-time, or if they were all just helping out because of an invitation from Belichick. It has to be fun for these players to relive some of their glory days from way back when, so you’d think they all enjoy the opportunity to work with young talent at the game they all share a common love for.

Whether that love is enough to merit the jump to coaching with the Patriots under Belichick, however, remains to be seen. It will certainly be something to keep an eye on as if this offseason progresses with training camp right around the corner.