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Could a Former Vol Be Up For The Patriots Coaching Job?

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

It’s been a wild week in the sport of football. Alabama head coach Nick Saban and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll both stepped down on Wednesday as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots parted ways on Thursday morning.

The three departures have left the sports world with one massive question for each… Who are they going to get?

Coaching search season is officially on for three dominant programs/organizations as Alabama, Seattle, and New England look to see who will replace the shoes of their former legendary coaches.

We wrote about the Alabama coaching search on Thursday morning over on Rocky Top Insider, so we’ll stick with the Patriots side of things for this article.

One of the names that has been circulating for months now is none other than former Vol linebacker and longtime NFL assistant coach Jerod Mayo.

NBC Sports reported back in December that New England owner Robert Kraft was set to part ways with Belichick after the season. Whether that decision was actually made in December or in January, it did come true. Regardless, though, Mayo’s name was immediately one of the standout candidates.

At the time, ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that Mayo taking over was the “most likely outcome” but others pushed back that Mayo’s role as a Belichick guy might sway New England to go with a different and new direction. Mayo played his entire career for Belichick in New England and took over as the Patriots’ linebackers coach just a few years after his retirement. Besides his time at Tennessee, Mayo’s football knowledge has been crafted by his time in New England around Belichick.

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Fast forward to Jan. 11 and Belichick is officially out the door. The big difference between now and the initial report is the fact that former Tennessee Titans head coach Mike Vrabel was fired earlier in the week. Vrabel, a former player with the Patriots, is still a marquee coach despite the Titans’ struggles in Nashville and is unquestionably on the Patriots’ radar during the search.

ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported on Thursday morning that Mayo will still be a top candidate in this coaching search despite the coaches that are now available for the job.

“Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, whom the team signed to a contract extension in the offseason and Kraft has identified as a rising head-coaching candidate, projects to be a, if not the, leading candidate for the job, sources said,” Schefter and Mike Reiss wrote for ESPN. “Mayo played for the Patriots from 2008 to 2014 and has been an assistant under Belichick since 2019.”

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that Mayo, Vrabel, and former coach Brian Flores are the “most likely” Belichick successors.

NBC Sports’ Tom Curran also reported on Thursday that early indications point to the former Vol.

“The indications that I’ve gotten is that Jerod Mayo will be the successor to Bill (Belichick),” Curran said.

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.

Stay tuned to Rocky Top Insider for more information on VFL Jerod Mayo potentially taking over as the New England head coach moving forward.

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