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Will A Former Tennessee Vol Replace Bill Belichick in New England?

Jerod Mayo
Former Tennessee and New England linebacker Jerod Mayo. Photo via Tennessee Football on X.

According to a report from Tom Curran from NBC Sports Boston on Monday night, the New England Patriots and owner Robert Kraft are set to part ways with longtime Super Bowl-winning head coach Bill Belichick at the end of the season. Curran’s report says the decision was made following the Patriots’ Week 10 loss to the Indianapolis Colts in Germany. At the time of this publication, the Patriots (3-10) have four games remaining on the schedule.

The convincing reports about Belichick’s departure lead to one big question: Who will replace the future Hall of Fame head coach?

The answer could be a name that is familiar to Tennessee fans.

Patriots defensive assistant coach and former Tennessee Vol Jerod Mayo has been a name in the coaching candidacy world for some time now. Reports over the offseason stated that Mayo had turned down potential head coaching interviews and instead worked to stay with the Patriots long-term, making people in the industry believe that Mayo was staying to eventually be Belichick’s successor.

Mayo was asked about his potential to be the Patriots’ next head coach recently.

“You’ve been here long enough,” Mayo said to answer the question via WBZ CBS News Boston. “You already – I bet you can say the answer that I’m about to give you. We’re 100 percent focused on the Chiefs. And you know, I only try to control the controllables and that’s out of my control. Hopefully as you guys all know, one day I want to be a head coach. Where that is, I don’t know. But at the same time, I would say I have a lot of love for New England. I have a lot of love for the fans, the people around the building. And you know, my family, they love it here as well. So that would be great if I could stay here and continue to progress throughout my career, but we’ll see.”

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Mayo’s name tops the chart on almost any and all hot board lists around the internet.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported on Wednesday that people within the Patriots’ organization believe that Mayo taking over as the head coach is the “most likely outcome” but does also note that there are other people in the building who are no longer certain in the direction that Kraft will go.

“Mayo would have to sell Kraft on who will be in charge of the offense, the quarterback’s development and personnel,” Graziano wrote.

Mayo, a native of Hampton, Virginia, played at the University of Tennessee from 2004 to 2007 and left a lasting impression. Mayo was named a First Team All-SEC after his final season in 2007.

After being drafted by the Patriots with the 10th overall pick in 2008, Mayo spent his entire playing career with New England from 2008 to 2015. Mayo announced his retirement from the NFL in 2016 just about one month after receiving shoulder surgery during the Patriots’ playoff run.

In March 2019, Mayo was hired to be the Patriots’ inside linebackers coach and has kept that position to this day.

Will VFL Jerod Mayo be hired to replace future Hall of Famer Bill Belichick this offseason? It sounds like a likely possibility, but we’ll have to wait and see.

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