Mayo, who spent all eight of his seasons in New England, was brought in to coach inside linebackers for the 2019 campaign after spending the last three seasons away from the game. The former star linebacker has quickly made his presence felt.
“He was obviously a tremendous player, but he’s a tremendous leader as well. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a player lead a team like the way Mayo led us [when he played in 2008-15]. He did things where he could bring players along and help raise their level of play. As an older guy now, you can only imagine what he could do for that locker room based on his leadership,” safety Duron Harmon said.
It’s been a tumultuous few months for the Patriots defense, as the team said goodbye to defensive coordinator Brian Flores and a handful of assistants after the team won Super Bowl LII. Then came the arrival and quick departure of Greg Schiano, who was tasked to take over for Flores, who took the head coaching gig in Miami. Since then, the team has settled on head coach Bill Belichick serving as defensive coordinator, with Belichick also, at this moment, expected to call plays.
A first-year assistant coach isn’t likely to take those reins, but the Patriots always manage to find and develop coaches on the defensive side of the ball. Players already noticing Mayo’s emergence is a good sign the two-time Pro Bowl selection could be the next hot name to come out of Foxborough.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.