New England Patriots

Patriots' Jerod Mayo gives candid, thoughtful response to recent report

Mayo said he "went through the whole emotional rollercoaster."

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A report in December from the Boston Sports Journal claimed New England Patriots linebackers coach Jerod Mayo has rubbed some people "the wrong way" over the last year.

Mayo admitted Tuesday during a video conference with reporters that he read the story. He also gave an honest, and lengthy, response to it.

“I try to stay out of reading a lot of the articles and things during the year. Obviously, there are ups and downs and seasonality that kind of play a part in life, and also in football. And honestly, when that report came out, my brother sent it to me. It was more hurtful than anything,” Mayo said Tuesday when asked about the report. “I found it to be, well -- the timing was a little bit weird, in my opinion. And, if that was the case, I feel like this would’ve been leaked sometime earlier.

“At the same time, I try to treat everyone the same way. And I will say this: I thought about it for a while. When people talk about ‘rubbing people the wrong way’ — obviously, sometimes, that’s part of the job of being a leader, is to rub people the wrong way. And I always try to be constructive and respectful in my feedback. And some people appreciate that transparency, and some don’t. But at the end of the day, if we can’t rub people the wrong way, how do you expect to be the best that you can be? And I would say anytime there’s change or anything like that, like, it’s gonna be painful. If someone’s gonna rub you the wrong way, at the end of the day, you have to look through all the words and really get to the substance, or get to the meat and potatoes of what that person is trying to say.

"So it actually helped me. It kind of triggered a period of self-reflection. I know it's recent -- I think it's a week old at this point -- but it triggered an opportunity for self-reflection. And we all have blind spots, and maybe that's one of my blind spots. But at the end of the day, hopefully, whoever put that story out, is man or woman enough to bring (it) to my attention and have a conversation."

Self-reflection was a key part of Mayo's response to the report and how he processed it. He admitted going through an "emotional rollercoaster."

“I went through the whole emotional, just, like, cycle,” Mayo said. “First of all, being angry; angry at the point where, you know, I've felt like I always treat people the same and I really haven’t changed in regards to that. And I have evolved as a coach. I have evolved as a man in my mid-30s. But at the same time, I would just hope that going forward those people give me an opportunity to explain myself and also an opportunity to try to get on the same track.

“At the end of the day, though, some people are gonna like you and some people aren’t. And I’m OK with that. Some reporters are gonna like you. Some reporters aren’t. Some players are gonna like you and some players aren’t. But I would hope there will be a mutual level of respect, level of respect with the media, level of respect with the coaches, and also the players. And you know, when it’s all said and done, I think the players understand that we, as a coaching staff, are trying to put them in the best possible position to go out there and execute.

“And then from a coaching perspective, I only want people around me who are gonna tell me the truth. I don’t wanna be trapped in the echo chamber and things like that because we all have blind spots… But you would hope that through building relationships that people were very open about it and having those one-on-one conversations.

“But honestly, when those sources come out, you look around, it’s like ‘Who would say something like that?’ But at the end of the day, it is what it is and, and I’ve taken that in and tried to absorb it. (I) went through the whole emotional rollercoaster and (I am) trying to push forward.”

Mayo is among the top candidates, especially internally, to replace Bill Belichick if the Patriots part ways with their legendary head coach during the offseason. Belichick is under contract through the 2024 campaign, but with the Patriots in the midst of their worst season in thirty years, it's fair to wonder whether he'll be back.

Mayo has been a defensive coach for the Patriots since 2019 and turned down interviews with rival teams last offseason before signing a contract extension. He's ready to be a head coach, and it would make sense for that to happen in New England if Belichick leaves.

The Patriots wrap up their season Sunday against the rival New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. It could be the end of an era for Belichick. Whether it leads to the beginning of the Mayo era remains to be seen.

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