NFL Insider Compares Patriots’ Jerod Mayo to Super Bowl Winning Coach

Jerod Mayo

Getty NFL Insider Albert Breer compared New England Patriots coach Jerod Mayo to Super Bowl winning head coach Sean McVay.

When forced to name a front runner to replace Bill Belichick as head coach of the New England Patriots, radio co-hosts Marc Bertrand and Scott Zolak of 98.5 The Sports Hub didn’t hesitate. Both called Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo the favorite to land the job.

But there’s a big question surrounding Mayo — is he ready to be an NFL head coach? Especially the head coach that will be tasked with replacing a six-time Super Bowl winning legend?

NFL insider Albert Breer proposed that question while appearing on 98.5 The Sports Hub on January 11. But after asking it, he answered his own question by comparing Mayo to Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay.

“I think the question is, is he ready? But, that same question was asked of Sean McVay,” Breer said. “I remember talking to the Rams about this. One of their guys high ups said to me, ‘We were so blown away with Sean.’ And he was like, ‘Is he ready?’

“That was the question we were all asking like everybody else. He’s 30 years old. But [the Rams] had to make the choice, either hire him now or lose him forever.”

McVay turned 31 just after the Rams hired him as head coach in January 2017. He was the youngest head coach in the league in nearly 80 years.

Behind McVay, the Rams quickly turned things around. They earned their first playoff berth in 13 years in McVay’s first year. The Rams then advanced to the Super Bowl during the 2018 season, where they lost to the Patriots.

Including this season, the Rams have earned three more playoff berths under McVay. In February 2022, McVay became the youngest head coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl.

Patriots Have One Shot to Hire Jerod Mayo as Head Coach

Mayo is a grizzly veteran compared to what McVay was in 2017. Mayo turns 38 in February (McVay also turns 38 in January).

But while McVay was an offensive coordinator for three seasons with the then Washington Redskins, Mayo has yet to officially be a coordinator in the league. Mayo has served as New England’s linebackers coach since 2019.

Breer argued, though, that doesn’t really matter much at the end of the day. What he did say matters is whether the Patriots identify Mayo as a man who will one day be a great head coach.

From that perspective, it’s eerily similar to where the Rams were with McVay seven years ago.

“[The Rams] were convinced that McVay was going to get a job the next year,” Breer said. “So they either had to hire him then and take the chance, roll the dice on someone they thought was special. Or he would be gone.

“It’s similar with Mayo. I think Mayo is going to ascend quickly because of the success of DeMeco, and the success of Dan Campbell, and the success of these ex-players, Vrabel. I think if you walk away from Mayo now, you aren’t getting that back. That’s part of the equation.”

Although Mayo doesn’t have any coordinator experience, he played eight seasons for the Patriots. He made the All-Pro team in 2010 and won the Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2008. Mayo was also a Pro Bowl linebacker in 2010 and 2012.

Mike Vrabel’s Availability Gives Patriots Another Option

New England’s coaching search just began. A lot can still change.

But as the search begins, the biggest challenger to Mayo’s chances of becoming New England’s next head coach appears to be another former player from the Belichick era — Mike Vrabel.

The Tennessee Titans fired Vrabel on January 9 after he led the team to a 6-11 record in 2023. In six seasons with the Titans, Vrabel posted a 54-45 record with three playoff appearances.

Vrabel played eight years for the Patriots from 2001-08. He made the All-Pro team in 2007 when he registered a career-high 12.5 sacks.

This past season during the Titans’ bye week, the Patriots inducted Vrabel into New England’s Hall of Fame. During his ceremony speech, Vrabel strongly praised the New England organization.

“I don’t want you to take this organization for granted,” Vrabel said to the Foxboro crowd, via The New York Post’s Jenna Lemoncelli. “I’ve been a lot of places, this is a special place with great leadership, great fans, great direction, and great coaching. Enjoy it. It’s not like this everywhere.”

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport suggested in a report on January 10 that Vrabel’s speech played a role in Tennessee’s decision to move on from him as head coach.

Ironically, the firing now makes Vrabel available for the Patriots.

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