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Jerod Mayo is the Pats New LB Coach. They Chose Wisely.

Divisional Playoffs - Houston Texans v New England Patriots

SourceIf it looked to you like talking about football on television was enough to scratch Jerod Mayo’s itch for the game, you weren’t alone. … Mayo has agreed to become the Patriots linebackers coach.

The departures of Brian Flores, Josh Boyer and Brendan Daly put the Patriots defensive coaching staff in transition mode. The addition of Greg Schiano as defensive coordinator was one move. Mayo is another.

Even as I sit down to post this, I acknowledge it hardly constitutes me going to the mattresses in an all out war for pageviews. When it comes to posting clickbait, “Team Hires Ex-Player as Position Coach” is hardly up there with the the Sexy Pole Vaulter and “Why Hollywood is No Longer Casting Alyssa Milano.” But when the player in question is Jerod Mayo, you write about it and let the chips fall.

Because he deserves it. And because it is newsworthy. Mayo is the very rare exception of a former NFL player on Bill Belichick’s coaching staff. Honestly, without making more effort than I’m in the mood for, I can only think of one in his 20 years in New England, and that’s Pepper Johnson. Invariably, he gets his coaches from “the ranks,” guys who went to prep schools, started out at low level assistants, going on coffee runs before graduating to picking up free agents at the airport, and, if they work hard enough and prove their worth, spending 12 hours in a film room breaking down the Eagles’ RPO tendencies on 3rd & short. Historically he’s more likely to give a job to a guy with a =Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering from RPI than a former All Pro who once lead the NFL in tackles.

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But Jerod Mayo is worth making an exception for. Right from the first time he took the field after they took him with the 10th overall pick (the second highest selection Belichick has had) in the 2008 draft, he came across as someone special. From early on you could see him making the right reads, moving before the ball was snapped and plugging the hole the play was designed to hit. He started his rookie season with the misfortune of watching the GOAT go down for the year to an injury. In his second year his defense suffered a huge leadership drain of Tedy Bruschi and Rodney Harrison retiring, and the misfortune of having to play under the bitchy, malcontented pissiness of Adalius Jetson Thomas.

But by 2010, the defense was all his to lead. And he stepped into the role as well as anyone could’ve hoped. With an NFL best 175 total tackles and 114 solo tackles. Which he made all over the field, from sideline-to-sideline. He took some crap from the usual suspects in the Professional Patriots Hater Media that none of his plays were impactful because he didn’t generate a lot of turnovers and sacks. But I always believed he filled exactly the role they wanted him to fill, to the detriment of his own stats. And that if he was one of those guys who self-promoted, had a catchphrase, did a dance and sold copyrighted t-shirts instead of spending all his time in film study and working out, he would’ve gotten the credit he deserved.

Unfortunately he missed 20 games and all of the postseason over a two-year span in 2013-14. Then was more or less a part time/rotational player in his final year of 2015 before retiring at the age of 29. But now that he’s the linebackers coach, you can look back at that one Super Bowl champion team he was on in 2014 and how he spent every game in street clothes on the sidelines helping out, and see it was the genesis of his coaching career. And in a couple of years, when he’s the coordinator here and moves onto a head job someplace else, we’ll remember that that is where it all began for him. So that his injuries, in the end, turned out to be sort of positives. Nobody deserves it more.