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What would Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo bring as the Broncos head coach?

I spoke with Next Gen Stats’ Taylor Kyles as well as Pats Pulpits’ Ryan Spagnoli, and Keagan Stiefel to find out if New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Brian Callahan would be a good head coach for the Denver Broncos head.

New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins
Is Jerod Mayo ready to be head coach?
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Denver Broncos general manager George Paton is spending the first full week of his second year interviewing 10 candidates to be the 17th full-time head coach in franchise history. Five candidates have completed their interview:

  • Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn
  • Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore
  • Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett
  • Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Luke Getsy
  • Detroit Lions defensive coordinator Aaron Glenn

The sixth candidate is New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo. The 35-year-old was the 10th pick in the draft and missed the last game of his last season when the Pats placed him on injured reserve before the AFC championship against Peyton Manning’s Broncos. Following retirement he was hired to become the Patriots inside linebacker coach in 2019. It’s worth noting that as one of only two position coaches on the Broncos interview list, he could be a candidate for defensive coordinator if Paton hires someone else as head coach. The Packers Getsy is the other.

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that assistant coaches who worked under Bill Belichick have failed to last in the NFL as head coaches. This and Broncos Country’s respective memory of the McDaniels could mean a Mayo hire would be met with a ton of scrutiny. With that in mind, I reached out to NFL’s Next Gen Stats Taylor Kyles as well as Pats Pulpits’ Keigan Stiefel and Ryan Spagnoli to to find out more about Mayo.

1st and 10

I can’t help but have a little concern about Jerod Mayo’s short resume, especially when Bill Belichick assistants have had so little success out of New England. At the same time smart people tied into the league seem very high on Mayo. What can you tell me about his run with the Pats? What does he bring to the table if hired for the top job?

Kyles: Matthew Slater recently gushed about Jerod Mayo as a player and coach, which is among the best character assessments one can receive. Mayo was a beloved teammate, respected leader, and most importantly a dominant player before injuries forced him into an early retirement. Got to learn under guys like Tedy Bruschi and mentored guys like Dont’a Hightower.

Stiefel: The most attractive quality that Jerod Mayo possesses is his leadership. He’s a guy that walked into New England and commanded respect from Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, and the leaders of those late 2000’s teams that he became a part of. Much like Brian Flores —who had much more success than other Belichick disciples— he strikes me as a guy who won’t try to be a carbon copy of Belichick but his own man. His ability to share his knowledge of the game with young players is just an added bonus.

Spagnoli: I think what stands out the most about Mayo is the respect that he has amongst his players. In today’s game, I think it’s real important to be able to relate to your players. Mayo’s ability to play at an elite level, then transform as a coach for one of the best defenses in the league, speaks wonders about his ability to get the most out of his players.

2nd and 8

George Paton placed a ton of emphasis on leadership over all sides of the ball in the presser following the Vic Fangio’s firing. Do you know if that’s a strength of Mayo’s?

Kyles: What made him great as a player is what I believe will make him a great coach: communication. Mayo was known for being a vocal leader on and off the field, but he’s also lighthearted and family-oriented which you notice very quickly.

Mayo is also more like Vrabel than he is Belichick’s other disciplines (save for Flores, who worked closely with Mayo in multiple roles for New England). He knows what players go through, is open to input, and excelled at putting guys in the best position to succeed.

Stiefel: It takes Jerod Mayo hardly anytime to find himself in leadership positions. He was the first Patriot under Bill Belichick to become captain in his second year as a player. He became the de facto co-defensive coordinator in his second year as a coach, and even became a diversity manager at Optum in his four years away from football.

Spagnoli: I think leadership is one of Mayo’s best traits. Not only was he a leader in the Patriots locker room, he quickly became that guy as an LB coach and defensive coordinator. Getting drafted, developed and then coaching all as a New England Patriot, Mayo can bring that type of culture and energy to Denver.

3rd and 5

It’s hard to ignore that there’s a possibility the Broncos are interviewing Mayo in hopes to poach him as defensive coordinator. Do you think that’s possible? If so, do you think Denver’s personnel could be a fit for the system he’s likely to run?

Kyles: I think having Mayo on your staff is great business, period. The Broncos’ personnel up front is similar to what he came up in as a player and coach in New England with a big, athletic line and playmaking backers. Believe they also use hybrid 3-4 principles, and Mayo has helped coordinate one of the league’s best such units as a player and coach.

Stiefel: I don’t think it’s likely Mayo leaves New England for anything other than a head coaching opportunity. Earlier this year he stated that he believes he has a lot to learn about being a football coach. As someone who came up under Bill Belichick, I don’t see a logical reason why he’d look to learn from anyone else this early in his career. Eventually I do think it would be beneficial for him to move around and get more experience in a less comfortable environment.

If he were to leave, I think he could implement the Belichick system anywhere. The beauty about Mayo is that New England underwent a philosophy change in the time he was away, so he now has experience doing different things. They were a zone based defense who looked to create pressure on the interior when he was playing, and have played man-to-man for the most part since he’s returned as a coach. The presence of Patrick Surtain and Bradley Chubb make me believe he’d look to run the latter.

4th and 7

Do you think Jerod Mayo could be a good head coach for the Broncos?

Kyles: It would honestly suck to lose Jerod, but he’s one of the league’s best leaders, mentors, and people. Whoever employs him next season will be very glad they did.

Stiefel: Selfishly, and realistically, I’d like to see him stick around in New England for a while to learn and grow under Bill Belichick. I think he needs to be handed the full time reigns of a defense before he moves on to becoming a head coach.

That being said, Jerod Mayo is much more qualified than a number of men who have head coaching jobs in the NFL. Eventually I think he’ll be a great one, maybe just not right now.

Spagnoli: I think Mayo can develop into a successful head coach but also, being relatively new and having the pressure to be the head guy, he’d have to surround himself with veteran coaches and a staff who knows what it takes to run a team. Mayo has succeeded as a player and coach at every level so I’d have the trust in him that he can ultimately bring a winning culture to Denver.

Poll

Do you want the Broncos to hire Jerod Mayo?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Yes as a head coach
    (58 votes)
  • 63%
    Yes as a defensive coordinator
    (343 votes)
  • 26%
    Nope.
    (142 votes)
543 votes total Vote Now