The Patriots formally introduced Jerod Mayo as the 15th head coach in the organization's existence on Wednesday afternoon, and other than his nickname for Robert Kraft dominating the headlines, one other aspect of what was said has caught the attention of the media and fans: the Patriots will have a different vibe moving forward.
It was clear there would be a significant change after Bill Belichick's departure, as he was known for being relatively monotone and tight-lipped when speaking to the media.
Replacing him with a former player who was already beloved by the locker room and known to have a personality will bring a much-needed culture shift while maintaining the expectations New England has ingrained within the fiber of the team.
Maybe it's not at the top of the list of things that need changing this offseason, but promoting a guy who's more of a player's coach seems like the most appropriate move post-Belichick. Nobody will ever replace what he has done in his career, and trying to replicate that with the next man at the job would be a mistake.
Having someone like Mayo, who Belichick coached before hiring him to join his staff, feels like the shift the team needs and is on par with how the league is going. Some of the best coaches in the NFL right now are loved by the players, i.e., Dan Campbell, Antonio Pierce, and Andy Reid, and now the Patriots can join that list with 37-year-old Mayo.
"Bill is his own man. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a little bit different."
A drastic change in coaching could be exactly what the Patriots need
Although some may say Mayo took shots at his former coach during his introductory press conference, he made it clear he was not trying to be a carbon copy of the future Hall of Famer. Given that he has firsthand knowledge of what it's like to be coached by him and work with him, he has a different perspective than most on who Belichick is, which is certainly a good thing.
He's remained himself within a coaching staff that most believed to be stuffy because of who was at the helm, and since several players have only spoken highly of him, it's bound to bring a more relaxed atmosphere to Foxboro, which wasn't always the case over the last 20+ years.
He reiterated that he doesn't plan to be the former coach when answering questions on Wednesday, making it known he will focus on putting together a team that works well together, but are not yes men, and building a culture that benefits everyone.
“I think you have to evaluate the culture and evaluate how the pieces fit. I will say this: My philosophy, I don’t want to be an echo chamber. I just don’t. I want people who are going to be honest and open and hopefully come together and make a sound decision. I want people around me that are going to question my ideas and the way we’ve done things in the past."
How this will be implemented will be another fascinating part of the Patriots offseason. But it does bring a sense of excitement in what would typically be a worrisome next few months.