Recently conducting his first interview of the year, George Paton is on the hunt to find the next head coach of the Denver Broncos after firing defensive mastermind Vic Fangio.
In this hunt, Paton has put together a list of ten coaching candidates that will compete for the job, including Jerod Mayo, who has an excellent chance to separate himself from the rest.
As a former NFL linebacker, Mayo spent his entire career as a player with the New England Patriots. Totaling an eight-year career, Mayo was a fantastic player and defensive centerpiece of Belichick’s excellent defenses. He was selected as the tenth pick of the 2008 NFL draft and ended making two pro-bowls and one first-team all-pro throughout his career.
While being a great player, his impact on the Patriots did not stop there. He was voted a team captain multiple times and has been heralded as a fantastic leader in the locker room. Being the first man at the facility and the last man out, Mayo led by example and took his job extremely seriously.
Retiring after the 2015 season, Mayo was not part of the NFL in any capacity until Bill Belichick and the Patriots gave him a call in 2019. Mayo then stopped what he was doing and was hired to be the inside linebackers coach for the Patriots, learning under one of the best coaches of all time in Belichick.
Coming off the former staff led by Fangio, the Broncos may be wise to want to infuse some youth into their coaching staff. While this doesn’t necessarily have to come directly from the head coaching position, Mayo — at the age of 35 — fits the bill. Also being a former player, it is easy to see how Mayo could positively affect the locker room, simply by being more relatable.
His leadership qualities that were so highly thought of as a player could also help benefit the Broncos. Matter of fact, the term leadership was a common term used by general manager Geroge Paton during the presser, where he described what he would be looking for in a head coach. This is an area that Mayo thrives in by all accounts and could make him that much more of an attractive candidate.
Coming from the Belichick tree, Mayo’s experience is a bit different from the rest, being that he not only came up as a coach in New England but also a player. For the most part, the Belichick tree has struggled when being hired as a head coach of another team but there is a point of reference for Mayo with another former Patriots linebacker, Mike Vrabel, who has had a ton of success in Tennessee. At the end of the day, Belichick is undisputedly one of the best coaches in the NFL’s history and the experience Mayo has had learning from him could be invaluable.
While having so much experience with a fantastic franchise like the Patriots, his coaching resume is short, to say the least. As stated earlier, his first NFL coaching gig came only three seasons ago. His playing experience may help him pick things up faster than the average coach but there are still distinct differences and plenty to learn.
To go along with that, the highest position Mayo has gotten to at this point is as an inside linebacker coach that doesn’t call plays. For most aspiring head coaches, those are two requirements that have to be met. Especially being so new into coaching, jumping from position coach to head coach is quite the leap and leaves a plethora of unknowns on his resume.
Receiving multiple head coaching interviews with such little experience, it is safe to say that Mayo has been well received in his short coaching career thus far.
He truly is a rising star and very well could be a great head coach but without the necessary experience, his resume falls short of many included on Paton’s list of coaching candidates. Because of that, the Broncos would be wise to interview him to further build a relationship but ultimately go in a different direction.