Patriots assistant and former LB Jerod Mayo is set to interview for the Eagles’ head coaching vacancy.
The New England Patriots have grown accustomed to watching assistants and coordinators interview for potential promotions around the league or in the college ranks over the years.
However, this offseason might be a different story. Though quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch, who was only with the team for one season, left to take the Arizona Wildcats’ head coaching gig, that was really the only buzz we heard regarding potential departures.
Longtime offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels gained zero steam as a head coaching candidate after his offense was one of the worst units in the league. Not even one of Bill Belichick’s highest-ranking defensive assistants nabbed an interview after the group regressed following their dominant showing last season.
Well, in a shocking turn of events, that narrative has flipped. According to insider Ian Rapoport, the Eagles have formally requested to interview Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo for their coaching vacancy after they surprisingly canned Doug Pederson earlier in the week.
It’s awesome to see Mayo finally garnering respect around the NFL as a respected defensive mind, but we can’t help but scratch our heads at this news. That obviously doesn’t mean we question his intangibles. He just wrapped up his second year on the Patriots sidelines and we simply presumed that teams would prefer a candidate with more experience.
When you take a look at the numbers, it’s easy to see why any defensive assistant on the Patriots’ staff would be considered for a head coaching job. They’ve allowed the fewest points per game in the league over the past two campaigns (18.1), held opposing quarterbacks to the lowest passer rating (75.5), and compiled the second-most takeaways (58) during that span.
However, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume Belichick is responsible for that dominance? We don’t doubt that Mayo, who will turn 35 (!) next month, will become a hot commodity on the coaching carousel in a few years’ time. We honestly wouldn’t even be surprised if that happened after next season.
However, the fact that the Eagles are prepared to interview him for unfortunately leads us to believe that he could be a victim of the Rooney Rule, which requires every team with a HC vacancy to interview at least one ethnic-minority candidate.
The last thing we want to do is rain on Mayo’s parade, bu tit would simply make no sense for Philly to hire a defensive-minded and inexperienced head coach when they have to decide between Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts in terms of who will be their starting quarterback in 2021.