1. Jerod Mayo, New England Patriots linebackers coach
Arguably the No. 1 option for the Patriots to succeed Bill Belichick is someone who already knows the franchise and how they operate. Team owner Robert Kraft has constantly preached doing things “The Patriot Way” and has been a fan of how Belichick runs things. That’s not to say he wouldn’t be thrilled to have a new approach, a new style of offense, etc. but he would like the same level of accountability and professionalism.
This can be found outside of the organization, for sure, but teams have been fooled before. Take the aforementioned Josh McDaniels as an example. Everyone thought he would be like Belichick but he was as far from it as humanly possible. That’s why it would make sense for them to stick with someone they know, attempting to eliminate any surprises.
With all that being said, Jerod Mayo would make a lot of sense for them as the next head coach. In fact, there’s a belief that he’s being groomed for the role — and has been considered for other openings as well.
Mayo has spent his entire career in New England, starting in 2008 when he was selected in the first round out of Tennessee. He played there until 2015, making it to the Pro Bowl twice while also earning the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year award in 2008.
He returned to the Pats in 2019 and has been a linebacker coach since then. Mayo has had a huge hand in the development of the defense and is widely respected as a head coaching candidate. Perhaps that happens in 2024 with the only NFL franchise he’s ever known.