Patriots Talk Podcast

Josh Uche talks future with Patriots, hiring of head coach Jerod Mayo

Uche thinks Mayo was a 'great hire' as the next head coach.


New England Patriots linebacker Josh Uche is uniquely qualified to discuss Jerod Mayo's coaching abilities.

Mayo was a linebackers coach for the Patriots before he was promoted to head coach last week. Therefore, he has worked with Uche quite a bit since the Patriots drafted the University of Michigan product in the second round in 2020.

"In my opinion, Jerod Mayo was a great hire," Uche told Tom E. Curran on a new episode of NBC Sports Boston's Patriots Talk Podcast. "When I first got here, Jerod was my position coach. I was very young, a lot of maturing to do and he had a lot of patience with me. Just the lens that he sees the game through, just a very creative lens. And you know, it gives the players a lot of flexibility to maximize their talents. I think Coach Mayo is a great hire."

🔊 Pats Talk: Josh Uche weighs in on Mayo hiring, future with Patriots Listen & Subscribe | Watch on YouTube

Uche just wrapped up his third season with the Patriots. After enjoying a breakout 2022 campaign during which he set career highs with 23 solo tackles and 11.5 sacks in 15 games, Uche was not as productive this past season with eight solo tackles and three sacks in 15 games. That said, Uche is a very talented player and pass rushers are very important for success in the modern NFL.

This offseason is a very important one for Uche because he's eligible to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time. What is his mindset as the offseason ramps up?

"My mindset is control the controllables, and that's my training, that's my diet, that's my routine," Uche explained. "Just being as efficient as I can outside the building. I kind of just let my agents handle that stuff. There's not much I can do in those regards, but just work on myself, become better."

Does Uche want to return to the Patriots?

"I do, and I've expressed that," Uche replied. "And my family's up here. I've got most of my family here. I've become comfortable with the guys and the coaches. And, again, it's something that my agents and the coaches and everybody's going to have to figure out. And there's only so much I could do, but control the controllables and just becoming better."

After spending his whole career in New England to this point, Could Uche envision himself playing anywhere else?

"It's an honor to have been selected to play for this prestigious team that's one of the winningest teams in the NFL," Uche said. "To be chosen to be here, you know, they feel like I could get the job done and that's an honor. I've been here four years. I haven't been anywhere else. This has been home for me for four years, and yeah, at times it's hard to envision myself being anywhere else.

"But again, it's out of my control sometimes, in terms of business and all the intricate stuff that goes into it. So I just try to play it as normal as I can right now and just take it one day at a time, day by day, and focus on what I can focus on."

Uche isn't the only defensive player on the Patriots roster able to test free agency this offseason. Safety Kyle Dugger, defensive back Jalen Mills and linebacker Anferenee Jennings, among others, also have expiring deals.

Luckily for the Patriots, they have the fourth-most cap space ($66,102,006) in the league, per OverTheCap. They have cash to spend, and based on Mayo's recent comments, they intend to be aggressive. So it'll be fascinating to see which of their own free agents are prioritized. Uche, based on his performance and position, deserves to be near the top of the list.

Also in this episode:

  • Jerod Mayo says Patriots are ready to spend!
  • What should the Patriots be looking for in their new OC?
  • If you could have any QB in the draft, who would it be and why?
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