New England Patriots

Edelman reveals why he's excited for Mayo as new Patriots head coach

"X's and O's, the guy knew everything. He was always in the film room."

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Julian Edelman played with Jerod Mayo for seven seasons from 2009 through 2015, so he has a pretty good idea of what makes the new Patriots head coach a good fit for the job.

It's never easy to replace a legend, which is exactly what Mayo is doing by taking over for Bill Belichick, who spent the previous 24 seasons as the Patriots' head coach and won six Super Bowl titles during that span.

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But Edelman believes Mayo is up to the challenge, and he pointed to his leadership and high football IQ as two reasons why.

"Jerod was an instant, from the day I met him, a leader," Edelman said Wednesday on The Herd with Colin Cowherd. Smartest guy on the defensive side of the ball. "He was kinda like -- there was (Mike) Vrabel, I never played with Vrabel, but everyone said this guy is a genius. And then there was Mayo. So, X's and O's, the guy knew everything. He was always in the film room.

Edelman later added: "I'm really excited for his opportunity. He took a little time away from football after his career ended and worked for Optum. So he gained a little outside knowledge and experience, and it brought him back to football.

"I'm just really excited for his opportunity. He's going to be a good leader. He's got that foundation from Bill, but he's a guy who's played in it and he's going to be able to relate with these players a little better of this new player generation."

Even though Mayo played for Belichick and spent the last four seasons on his defensive staff, the Patriots' new head coach isn't going to be a carbon copy of his predecessor.

Several of the values the team prioritizes will remain the same, but Mayo is going to put his own stamp on this team.

“One thing I learned from coach and from (Robert Kraft) is about just surrounding yourself with good people,” Mayo said Wednesday at his introductory press conference.

“I’m not trying to be Bill. I’m not trying to be Bill. If you can’t tell by now, I’m a little bit different even up here. But what I will say is, the more I think about the lessons that I've taken from Bill, hard work works, right? Hard work works. And that's what we're all about."

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