The rumors have been swirling for months regarding Bill Belichick's stance within the Patriots organization, and if he is let go this offseason, who will replace him? One of the prominent names in that conversation has been linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, who has presumably been chosen to succeed the head coach whenever he was to retire.
Now that things appear to be moving in another direction, there's a lot of debate about Mayo's readiness to take on such a role. Because of that, an unflattering report was recently published, suggesting the former player has "rubbed at least some people the wrong way in the building since his extension."
Mayo responded to the claims, stating his brother had sent the article to him, and he found it "more hurtful than anything."
It was the first indication of any issues with Mayo, as everything up to that point had been nothing but glowing reviews, so much so that he received an extension last offseason to deter him from interviewing for the Panthers' vacant head coach position.
So the suggestion that Mayo seemingly became problematic behind the scenes took nearly everyone by surprise, with little understanding of where the chatter stemmed from. But former teammate Rob Ninkovich had a simple explanation when discussing the situation on "Up & Adams" earlier this week.
“You have to understand that the coaching world is a shallow business where you have other coaches that are potentially mad that you are in a position that you’re in. It only takes one guy to go out there and talk to a reporter on the side and say, ‘See, he’s kind of walking around differently around here,’ just because they’re mad themselves and they’re haters.”
Rob Ninkovich is spot on with his explanation behind the Mayo report
Given the timing, which Mayo pointed out in his response, and the nature of the report, it's unsurprising to hear Ninkovich believe there was likely some nefarious reason behind it all.
Because Belichick's job was reportedly on the line and he was the one to step in, it seems like somebody close to Belichick or someone else in the building who believes they should be the one in line to succeed the head coach decided to take their anger out on Mayo for no reason, especially since he seems more than qualified for the job.
There's a reason he was highly sought after last year for several head coach openings, and it explains why Robert Kraft was eager to get him back in New England and lock him up for more years with a contract extension.
Ninkovich explained just how good Mayo is, furthering the belief that jealousy was the root cause of the negative report.
“Jerod was a guy that was a coach on the field. So he’d be out there giving everybody the checks, giving everybody the calls. We’re relaying the calls — that’s the easy part — but for him to go out there and just recognize everything and do it [quickly] because you have to do it quickly, he was the best that I’ve ever been around.
“The Mayo thing, I do believe that was a jealous ‘somebody’ that put that out there, because I don’t believe that to be true.”