2. Jerod Mayo, Pats LB coach
There were some rumors and rumblings that Mayo might be in the mix for the Houston Texans job late in the season, but that hasn’t happened. Still, the interest does seem real.
I think that there is a lot to be said for Mayo being hired as a coach by Bill Belichick after he played his entire career with the New England Patriots. He seems to leave a great impression on the players and coaches that he has worked with.
Since he has only been a linebacker coach for two seasons, I am going heavily off of the rumored interest in the NFL and two pretty important quotes. This one speaks to the respect he has within the Patriots organization:
"“The 33-year-old former linebacker is the only Patriots position coach ever hired by Belichick without a year of experience coaching in his system or elsewhere in the NFL or major college ranks. Make that that two years in Belichick’s system — typically the prerequisite for a coaching promotion in Foxborough — and Mayo becomes the second of only two coaches… …He called every single defensive play, just as he did during June’s minicamp. If Mayo continues to call plays throughout the summer, it’s reasonable to assume he will sometime during the regular season, just months after he was out of football; as stunning a development as there could be early in the Patriots’ 2019 campaign.”"
So Bill Belichick broke all of his conventions AND created a position on the coaching staff, and allowed Mayo to call plays during camp for the two years that he has been with the New England Patriots. That is a pretty massive deal.
The other quote I wanted to look at is the quote from one of the greatest books about the process of roster building in the NFL, War Room:
"Mayo had been a top ten pick who didn’t act like one. On draft day, when the best of the best are invited to New York, often wearing made-for-occasion tailored suits, Mayo had been home in Virginia with his family raking leaves. He was a worker there and a worker in Foxboro. In the off season, he’d come to the stadium and watch film, even when there were no coaches to be found. He loved the game, and it could be seen by the way he played middle linebacker, never turning down the opportunity to plug a hole or run sideline to sideline.”"
That was back in 2008 when he was a rookie drafted by a front office that included the newly promoted Jon Robinson as “Assistant Director of College Scouting” and he would have been watching that film with Patriots veteran linebacker Mike Vrabel.