Former Patriots star advocates for team to undergo slow rebuild

May 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo arrives at the practice fields at the New England Patriots rookie camp at Gillette Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports
May 11, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo arrives at the practice fields at the New England Patriots rookie camp at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

After witnessing the disappointing 2023 season by the Patriots, who finished the year with a 4-13 record, it was clear significant changes were set to come during the offseason. The roster needed upgrading, and coaching changes were required, which owner Robert Kraft took seriously by letting go of Bill Belichick not long after the season ended.

That put new head coach Jerod Mayo in the hot seat right as he took over the role, as the Patriots needed to find their way back on track to become a competitive team again.

It's a lot for anyone in his position to undertake, never mind doing it for a historically successful team wanting another championship. However, Mayo looks to have made nearly all the right moves since becoming Belichick's successor, from the coaches and coordinators he hired to make up his staff to the free agency signings and input on the draft; it's all earned him (mostly) positive reviews.

There's just one problem that many fans are not willing to accept, though.

Patience is a virtue, and it seems to be one of the biggest issues within Patriots Nation. They're eager to see their team be successful again since they became used to it during the Tom Brady era and felt they were on the way to becoming that with the hiring of Mayo and the addition of Drake Maye.

But a slow rebuild appears to be Mayo and executive vice president of player personnel Eliot Wolf's plan. A legendary Patriot believes this is the right way to go despite countless voices suggesting otherwise.

Vince Wilfork understands the importance of being patient through a rebuild

During his recent conversation with Musket Fire, Mayo's longtime teammate Vince Wilfork praised the new head coach for his potential and what he's already bringing to the Patriots.

He also advocated for a slower rebuild, detailing all it takes to make a sustainable winning team on and off the field. He thinks Mayo is the right guy for the tall task, which we have already seen from several players who have given him rave reviews this offseason.

"Yeah. I mean, gotta understand change is scary. You know? But with change, you have to have trust and guys have to believe in one another and I think Jerod is going to earn their trust. Guys that been there while he was a coach, they understand what they're getting into. So I think it's just a time thing where everybody got to understand. In this process, we in it together, you know, it's not just Jerod and the new head coaches, you know, new guys coming in and that locker room will look totally different, you know, from a year ago, every year is turnover.

So they have to understand that. And I think, you know, between the top guys from the Krafts and the organization down the way down to the Jerod, they understand that it's going to take some time. It's going to take some rebuilding. Relationships have to be built. You know, you're going to have to teach new stuff. You have new coordinators coming in. You have a new system and scheme stuff going on. So it's gonna take all of them, not just one person. Just not on the quarterback. It's on every individual because there's so much turnover.

So the quicker they can get on the same page, quicker they can start chipping away at becoming a better football team. And I think that started in mini camps. And I think you have to go through training camp and get ready for the season and see what you have. So I think Jerod is the right guy to be in the driver's seat. He's gonna manage it well and he's gonna be fine."

Although Wilfork was never part of a Patriots team that underwent a rebuild the way they are now, his words are spot on. Considering how much success he saw throughout his career and the legendary players he worked with during his Patriots tenure, one of whom was Mayo, he knows what it takes to win and the importance of a team on the same page from top to bottom.

It's something that may have gotten them in trouble over the last few years, as tension between Mac Jones and the coaching staff was often evident during games.

On top of that, players who experienced the 2023 season have referred to it as a toxic environment, which doesn't breed much success when the players aren't getting along.

Fortunately, that doesn't appear to be the case so far this offseason, a factor that even new players have pointed out. It's a great start to Mayo's tenure and could be a significant factor in building a new culture in New England while also making it a team that more players will want to play for in the future.

A slow rebuild might not be everyone's cup of tea, and being impatient, given how the Patriots have looked over the last few years, is understandable. But we've seen recent evidence of patience making a team more successful long-term in the Texans, and who wouldn't want that in Foxboro?

Vince Wilfork has teamed up with Kingsford to officially teach Jason Kelce how to slow down and create memories around the grill as he begins his retirement. Check out the hilarious new video below!

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