Hold the Mayo.
That may be one of the New England Patriots‘ objectives this offseason as they are faced with potentially losing another assistant coach.
According to reports, inside linebackers coach, Jerod Mayo interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles for their head coaching vacancy.
#Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is expected to interview for the vacant #Eagles head coaching job this week, source said. The first HC interview for Mayo, who plays a key role in NE’s defense.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 13, 2021
Mayo is a huge part of the leadership team on the defensive side of the ball for the Patriots. If he leaves, it will create a void for sure. The Patriots already lost quarterbacks coach Jedd Fisch to a head coaching job at the University of Arizona.
There is talk offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels could still be a candidate for the Los Angeles Chargers job. Former Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio took a general manager job with the Houston Texans, and Bill Belichick had to step in for the last-minute save to convince Dave Ziegler from leaving to take the same position with the Denver Broncos.
So, the year after the Patriots miss the postseason for the first time since 2008, they are suddenly faced with the most turnover they’ve seen in years across the coaching staff and front office.
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Mayo Has an Excellent Reputation as a Leader
Almost to a man, when you talk to people who have come into contact with Mayo, it seems everyone raves about his leadership qualities.
NBC Sports’ Tom Curran talked about Mayo’s gift for leadership on a recent podcast.
"Jerod Mayo as a leader is unparalleled."
With Mayo reportedly interviewing for the Eagles head coaching vacancy, @tomecurran discusses the qualities the #Patriots inside linebackers coach has that will lead him to become a head coach in the NFL one day 🏈 pic.twitter.com/8eskGMXl74
— NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) January 13, 2021
This is the kind of quality that could potentially help Mayo make a huge impression on the Eagles’ brass during his interview.
Mayo’s Playing Career
Mayo is just 34 years old.
He retired from the NFL after the 2015 season. He played his entire 8-year NFL career with the Patriots winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2014. Mayo made 2 Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team while also capturing the Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2008.
At this point, he’s a perfect combination of youth, leadership skills, and accomplishment. He just took the job as a linebackers coach with the Patriots in 2019, but he has quickly established himself as a valuable member of the coaching staff.
That partially explains him getting an interview.
How Strong are His Chances to Get the Job?
If we’re being honest here, it would be a shock if Mayo is hired by the Eagles. That’s not based on any slight against him, but there is a thought spreading on social media that suggests this interview may not be the most genuinely-sought inquiry.
Straight bs they just interviewing him to satisfy the Ronney Rule. The rule is a joke because teams hire who they want anyway
— bayoubengal0108 (@bayoubengal0108) January 13, 2021
Sounds like a "Rooney Rule" interview
— Jim Russo (@SundanceJimRuso) January 13, 2021
I like Mayo. But this feels like a Rooney Rule move
— Quincy Barnhill (@BarnhillQuincy) January 14, 2021
Even Heavy.com’s own Mike Greger called the Eagles out.
I absolutely LOVE everything I've heard/read about Jerod Mayo. He'll be an excellent coordinator, but not ready to be a head coach. #Eagles just doing due diligence (Rooney Rule) on him. Plus, they get to scare #Patriots a bit. #FlyEaglesFly
— Michael Greger (@mike_greger) January 13, 2021
We can’t go as far as to accuse the Eagles of simply interviewing Mayo to satisfy the requirements of the Rooney Rule (which mandates teams interview one minority candidate), but I will say Mayo’s lack of experience coaching on an NFL level makes this look more like an exploratory interview than anything else.
It would be surprising if the Eagles turned to someone who has only been a positional coach for 2 seasons to be their next head coach. If you buy into the thought that the Eagles might simply be trying to check a box with this interview, Mayo would be a perfect guy for that spot. He’s young and promising, but a no-hire could easily be attributed to his lack of experience.
Mayo is no fool. If this is in play, he likely is aware of the possibility but understands this kind of interview has long been a part of paying your dues as an assistant or positional coach. His time will come, but this might not be it.
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