With Bill Belichick out and Jerod Mayo in, significant changes could be made to the Patriots coaching staff for the 2024 season. Because it's being reported that Belichick is planning to continue his career elsewhere, the assumption has been that many of those who filled his staff in New England will likely follow him wherever he goes.
If that is accurate, Mayo will have plenty of positions to fill and many candidates to consider. Although that may be a bit worrisome for fans, a few familiar faces may return as positional coaches, which is actually exciting.
When discussing his future as a head coach last year, Mayo mentioned his desire to convince former linebacker Dont'a Hightower to become a defensive coach. Besides taking to Twitter/X to respond to what the new head coach had to say, we haven't heard anything more from Hightower about his stance on joining the staff.
However, we have heard from another legendary Patriot and Super Bowl hero, who voiced his aspiration to get into coaching now that he is retired.
Longtime running back James White let his feelings known about perhaps returning to New England in a different role last week when the news of Mayo's promotion was announced. He doubled down on that a few days later during an appearance on the "Off the Pike with Brian Barrett" podcast.
“I’d consider it for sure. I’ve always thought about being a coach. Obviously, I have to coach with the right coaching staff because I’m not all about being there until 11 o’clock, midnight every night. But I played the game at a pretty high level, I feel like I’m a pretty smart football player and I can obviously help guys develop into being versatile players, which I think is a big part of Patriots offense that we’ve played in for a very long time.
“If they ever brought it up to me, I’d definitely consider it. I don’t know if they already have their staff in place, which they very might well have that. If Jerod (Mayo) was going to be the head coach that these certain people were going to be at these certain positions. So, I don’t know if that’s the situation. But definitely something I would consider, but I have not gotten anybody reaching out to me yet at this point.”
Jerod Mayo should seriously consider James White as the next running backs coach
Despite the job not necessarily being vacant at this point, as Vinnie Sunseri has filled that role over the last three seasons, Mayo may decide to clean house and start fresh with a predominately new staff.
That may not be the plan from Robert Kraft's point of view, but it would be an ideal scenario if they are really trying to make a dramatic shift within the organization post-Belichick.
If that is something Mayo will be allowed to do, especially since when a general manager will be hired remains unknown, hiring a guy like White makes sense. Not only was he an accomplished player throughout his career and helped the Patriots win Super Bowl LI, but he also mentored many young running backs during his time in Foxboro, including Rhamondre Stevenson.
On top of that, dual-threat runners have been a mainstay in New England for several years, and who better than White to implement and teach that to the RB roster?
He would be an excellent hire and a guy that Kraft would be comfortable with since we know how much he loves to bring back former players and coaches, and he could be an essential piece of the staff for years to come.
Because White has now spoken publicly about wanting to be a coach for the Patriots, hopefully, it's something Mayo will strongly consider and at least look into the possibility of it for next season.