Patriots’ Jerod Mayo explains how he complements Bill Belichick

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 09: Inside Linebackers coach Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - JANUARY 09: Inside Linebackers coach Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Though New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo got some worthy experience on the interview circuit this offseason, he’ll be returning to the Pats sideline next season to play an important role in coaching up the defense.

Despite a difficult stretch run during which head coach Bill Belichick reportedly relinquished some play-calling duties to Mayo and his son Steve, the onus will be placed further on the ex-Patriots linebacker in 2022, as Belichick gets dragged to the offensive side of the ball in the wake of Josh McDaniels’ departure.

Mayo told FanSided’s Aryanna Prasad that he’s ready, though, embodying the Patriots’ militaristic mindset throughout his discussion of what he brings to the table.

“Service. Discipline. That’s how I was raised. How do you become disciplined? Creating good habits, then good habits become routine,” Mayo said. “Being here in New England is kind of the same thing. Everything here is about discipline. There’s no ambiguity in doing your job.”

Patriots coach Jerod Mayo describes how he works with Bill Belichick

Mayo, still just 35 years old and a member of the coaching staff, remains a rising star in this industry who’s transitioned seamlessly from knowing what it means to be a Patriots player to embodying the same ethos while stalking the sidelines. He claims the hours are different after his transition to the coaching staff, but beyond that, the mentality is the same.

“But, hey, this is what I love to do,” he reiterated, contemplating the long hours of problem solving that replaced watching film and drilling schemes.

That time spent by Belichick’s side will prove invaluable as Mayo prepares to take the next step — the type of preparation that’s taken all 35 years of his life.

But just because Belichick is the master does not mean he doesn’t have weaknesses that need patching over, and Mayo’s helped him learn a few things as well.

“[Bill Belichick] prepares for everything. He prepares for the weather, he prepares for where the sun’s going to be at a certain time … he’s the ultimate, when it comes to preparation,” Mayo told us. “And that goes right back to the military. But I’m not Bill, I don’t try to be Bill. I’m from a different generation. I do coach hard, but I understand players now are different. I think Coach understands that, too, and that’s why he keeps younger coaches around him. There needs to be diversity of thought and diversity of people.”

“He’s not slowing down anytime soon,” Mayo continued.

Though this offseason has been marked by a reevaluation of the way the NFL treats minority coaches, with ongoing legal proceedings ideally resulting in a better tomorrow, Mayo believes the Patriots have put him in a better place than most organizations — and has also been inspired by a subtle turning of the tide.

“At the bottom of the funnel [in New England], we have this minority coaching program, and most of the time these guys end up latching on with us and climbing the ranks,” Mayo stated. “When you look at the top of the funnel, we’ve got a great owner here in Robert Kraft and team president Jonathan Kraft … but from a league-wide perspective, there are no black people, as far as owners are concerned.”

“What I will say the league has made progress in is at the general manager level. From Kwesi Adofo-Mensah in Minnesota, Ryan Poles in Chicago … even Morocco Brown interviewing with the Pittsburgh Steelers. There’s some shaking going on there, and hopefully that makes its way down to the head coaching circles.”

Mayo will be given a significant chance once again in 2022 to make himself a part of the generation that leads that upward trajectory, and hopefully the Patriots spend plenty of time front and center so Americans can familiarize themselves with the new disciplinarian roaming New England’s sidelines who comes with a military-precise soft side.

Jerod Mayo spoke with FanSided courtesy of Hellman’s, as part of a campaign to help tackle food waste across America.