Boston Sports Tonight

Why are Jerod Mayo, Patriots delaying start of offseason workouts?

Are the Patriots smart to play the long game or wasting valuable time?

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The Atlanta Falcons officially began their offseason program Tuesday, with first-year head coach Raheem Morris laying out a detailed plan for the 2024 season in front of the entire team.

The New England Patriots and first-year head coach Jerod Mayo didn't do the same.

While NFL teams with new head coaches are eligible to begin their offseason programs on April 2, the Patriots opted to wait a week and start their program next Monday, April 8.

"Look, there’s still going to be time to put this thing together," Mayo told reporters last week when asked why New England is pushing back the beginning of its workouts. "As the staff continues to jell not only on the coaching side but also on the scouting side, as the team continues to jell, I just want to make sure that we as coaches are all on the same page before we get with the players.

"We’ve been a part of situations where you bring different coaches in and this guy has one philosophy, this guy has another philosophy. I just wanted to make sure that the coaches, the staff, we’re all on the same page going forward."

The Patriots completely overhauled their coaching staff this offseason, with new defensive coordinator DeMarcus Covington, Troy Brown and Brian Belichick among the only holdovers from the 2023 group. Mayo apparently wants make sure his staff has its ducks in a row before the players arrive at Gillette Stadium, which is an understandable approach.

Then again, time is valuable in the NFL -- even at this early stage of the offseason -- and former Patriots linebacker Ted Johnson believes Mayo and Co. are wasting it by waiting until next Monday to get the ball rolling.

"It's one week in the big picture, and you might not think it's a big thing, but getting off to a late start, I just think sets the tempo for what's happened this offseason and going into the season," Johnson said Tuesday on NBC Sports Boston's Boston Sports Tonight, as seen in the video player above. "You don't want to give the perception at all that you are behind or that you're not ready for this endeavor that you're about to embark on."

The Patriots have been a step behind on a few fronts this offseason. They were one of the last teams with a new head coach to fill out their full coaching staff, and they largely sat out the start of NFL free agency, opting to spend most of their money on retaining current players.

Mayo has preached patience with New England's rebuild, so perhaps this is all part of his plan to focus on doing things the right way instead of as quickly as possible. But "patience" also might mean a slower rebuild and more losses in the short term as new coaches and players take time to acclimate to a new system.

Check out the YouTube video below for more discussion from Johnson and hosts Michael Felger and Michael Holley.

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