Patriots schedule release video signifies big change in Jerod Mayo era

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Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots / Maddie Meyer/GettyImages

A lot has changed in the short few months since Bill Belichick left the Patriots and Jerod Mayo was given the reins, most noticeably the atmosphere at Gillette Stadium. Despite the narrative that New England wasn't a fun team to play for, which several former players have debunked, it looks like it's more fun than ever to be on the team right now.

Players have shared countless videos of their excitement at practices or having fun at the facilities, which have also seen a lot of changes in recent months. And then there's the number of former players hanging around the building as well, some of whom have even joined the staff.

But one of the more interesting changes could be seen in the Patriots 2024 schedule release video which seemed to top last year's.

What made the video so significant? The fact it starred people like Ernie Adams and Rob Gronkowski.

Other big names, like Julian Edelman, Robert Kraft, and Jerod Mayo, were in the video. But what stood out the most was Gronkowski's return to the Patriots and Adams's appearance after his close friend Belichick was fired.

Patriots schedule release video makes one thing clear about Jerod Mayo era

Since the tight end announced his first retirement to leave the Patriots after the 2018 season, he hasn't been seen around the team as much in the years after. He came out of retirement to join Tom Brady on the Bucs and went on to win another Super Bowl together and has only sparingly retuned to the place he spent most of his career.

The belief was that Belichick may have had something to do with that, either on his side or Gronkowski's side. The head coach might have been upset about how Gronk decided to leave the team and the tight end didn't always have the best things to say about his former coach.

It seemed to explain the Patriots' lack of interest in having Gronkowski retire with the team, which he has expressed a desire to do but they are yet to oblige. Fans have shared their interest in seeing that happen over the years, which came up even recently when new tight end Mitchell Wilcox was assigned Gronkowski's old jersey number.

But things look to be better between him and the organization, as he was one of the main features in their schedule release video alongside Edelman.

On top of his appearance, it was shocking to see Ernie Adams participate in the project as well. He has been a lifelong Belichick confidant for decades and was with the Patriots until he retired nearly three years ago.

Although there isn't any loyalty in sports, it's more common among coaches, especially those who have worked with the eight-time Super Bowl Champion coach.

So, seeing him return just a few months after he was fired indicates that not all bridges are burned in the building for those close to Belichick.

It'll be interesting to see if these things continue in Belichick's absence, which would signify a general respect for Mayo among those past and present. That's a good indicator of what's going on in the building and the high expectations for the new head coach.

The more relaxed and fun vibe speaks volumes about how trusted Mayo is in his new position, prompting unexpected names to be around the team already and in the future. This could be a great new era in New England, which makes it even more exciting to look forward to.

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