Patriots Coaching Staff Additions Highlight Contrast From Bill Belichick

Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo (left) and owner
Jan 17, 2024; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo (left) and owner / Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

There are some new faces coming to Foxborough. On Monday afternoon, the New England Patriots announced their new additions as Jerod Mayo has rounded out his first coaching staff at the helm of the Patriots.

With the announcement of Mayo's staff, one theme and stark contrast between the new Patriots head coach and his predecessor was abundantly clear: the number of assistants on staff. Belichick famously kept a close circle of confidants, "partly because he wanted to ensure there were no mixed messages." Meanwhile, Mayo's extensive staff stems from his "desire to integrate ideas and perspectives from those who have coached elsewhere." In his introductory press conference, the former Patriots linebacker-turned-head coach emphasized that he wanted to create an environment that encouraged competing ideas and philosophies among coaches:

"One thing you'll notice about me, in our interaction as we continue to go, is, I don't like echo chambers. I want people around me that are going to question my ideas, or question the way we have done things in the past."

Jerod Mayo

Hiring a staff of this volume could undoubtedly go a long way towards achieving that objective and steering clear of the "echo chamber" that Mayo is seeking to avoid.

Several names stand out among the additions, with the list headlined by Dont'a Hightower, Ben McAdoo and Tiquan Underwood. Hightower was a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Patriots and was also named to New England's All-2010s and All-Dynasty Team. Hightower's role with the Patriots will be his first experience in a formal coaching capacity, although many have agreed that he was "born to be a coach" and applauded his football IQ.

Ben McAdoo was a surprise hire when his name was first linked to New England. McAdoo was most notably the head coach of the New York Giants from 2016-17. He was fired by the Giants in 2017 after a 2-10 start to the season. He most recently served as the Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator during the 2022 season.

Another former Patriot returning to Foxborough, Tiquan Underwood is perhaps best known for being cut the night before Super Bowl XLVI. Underwood has put together a significant coaching resume, mostly at the collegiate level, since retiring from the Canadian Football League in 2017. The Rutgers alum began his coaching career as the wide receivers coach at Lafayette before becoming an offensive quality control coach with the Miami Dolphins in 2019. He spent two seasons each as the wide receivers coach at Rutgers (2020-21) and Pittsburgh (2022-23) before joining Jerod Mayo's staff. He also served as the passing game coordinator for the Pitt Panthers.

Today's announcement is a reminder that things are changing in New England, and that many of the hallmarks of the Bill Belichick regime may be slowly fading away. Only time will tell if that equates to wins on the football field.

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