FOXBORO — If there have been any doubts Jerod Mayo shall be his personal man as head coach of the Patriots – not one other ex-Bill Belichick assistant turned humorless, ineffectual impersonator – they need to have died Wednesday.
Mayo broke from Belichick a number of occasions throughout his introductory press convention. Mayo interrupted Robert Kraft’s opening assertion to crack a joke at his boss’ expense after which referred to Kraft nearly solely by nickname. Imagine Belichick calling Kraft one thing like “Thunder” simply as soon as, and revel in a fast chuckle.
Mayo additionally broke with Kraft when the octogenarian raised the thought of being “colorblind” when discussing Mayo’s standing as the primary Black head coach in group historical past.
“I appreciate (Kraft) and the organization selecting me to be a Black head coach,” Mayo mentioned. ” … What I’ll say, although, is I do see shade as a result of I consider for those who don’t see shade, you possibly can’t see racism.”
There you have got it. Yes, certainly, it’s a brand new period in New England. Now, as for all the different doubts concerning the Patriots getting into this period?
There’s the entrance workplace, barren offensive roster and incomplete teaching employees. But let’s stick with Mayo, the brand new essential character in New England’s longest operating drama, just a bit longer.
The 37-year-old didn’t effort to win the press convention, a foolish notion and meaningless phrase typically tossed round at occasions of teaching change. Press conferences rating zero factors and don’t power punts. They are a non-negotiable a part of the job that normally incur certainly one of two issues: fleeting applause or avoidable harm to your group or your self.
Just ask Joe Judge. Two years after “winning” his first press convention as head coach of the Giants, Judge talked himself out of a job by babbling after one unhealthy loss, then one other and one other on the finish of an embarrassing 2021 marketing campaign. Eventually, Giants possession known as Judge into their workplace, and he couldn’t discuss his approach into a 3rd season.
Mayo, greater than seemingly, gained’t meet the identical destiny. He appears safe sufficient to not play to the applause or chase it for approval. But if Wednesday’s opener was any indication, Mayo additionally gained’t be divulging a lot publicly.
In this sense, he and Belichick appear to be in lock step, recognizing the reward just isn’t well worth the danger behind a microphone. That isn’t to say Mayo gained’t be himself; a charismatic chief with media savvy identified by ex-teammates, present gamers and colleagues for his humorousness and powerful voice. Furthermore, Mayo instructed ESPN he desires to rebuild the connection between Patriots gamers and coaches and the media.
That positive is music to my ears, however not the music that issues. The notes Mayo performed Wednesday have been a music about side-stepping and generalizing when it got here to the way forward for his employees and damaged offense.
To wit: that is how Mayo answered a query about presumably opening an offensive coordinator search: “Everything’s still under consideration. Obviously the staff that I’ve been working with isn’t the staff that I have chosen. Everything is under evaluation. I would say with all of my coaches, the number one thing is developing people.”
What about his imaginative and prescient for fixing an offense that averaged fewer than 14 factors per recreation final 12 months?
“First of all, I would say just the energy, right? The passion, the leaders on the offensive side of the ball,” Mayo started. “I think you have to get that stuff in place first. And honestly, as the season starts to roll, you start in the weight room. I think the weight room is really one of the most important areas in the building to really evaluate the people with the team.”
Patriots coach Jerod Mayo breaks from Bill Belichick period in opening press convention
So the repair is … extra squats?
To be clear, answering like that is Mayo’s prerogative. And, within the phrases of his predecessor, most likely in the very best curiosity of the soccer group.
Zooming out, Mayo can not rebuild the offense with out a teaching employees. Right now, the Patriots’ teaching employees consists largely of assistants on trip and/or expiring contracts. There is not any assure Mayo will be capable of merely decide and select whom he desires to maintain and whom he desires to rent.
Because the pool of candidates he’ll quickly be fishing from may have Belichick tossing a line in as quickly as Belichick lands one other head-coaching job. Mayo was smart to not tip his hand about whether or not he prefers candidates like Bill O’Brien, Josh McDaniels, neither or each. Offering a solution with specifics a couple of scheme, a coach’s background or expertise would danger flashing his playing cards to Belichick, who has studied opposing coaches’ press conferences for years searching for a aggressive edge.
Until the Patriots’ assistants are all again on the town or prepared to barter, Mayo’s goal must be to put out as many choices – Plans A, B and C – for himself as doable to present himself the very best probability at constructing a robust employees after which an offense. Mayo seems to have completed this on protection, having reportedly supplied to maintain Belichick’s sons, Steve and Brian Belichick, on employees as assistants. Will they keep? Will they go?
Who is aware of. Mind you, Mayo has solely been on the job six days. Six.
The Patriots have been certainly one of eight franchises to alter head coaches this offseason, and they’re the one ones to have already employed and launched a substitute. Zero non-playoff groups have a completely settled employees below contract. That doesn’t make the Patriots’ teaching state of affairs distinctive or motive to fret – but.
For now, Mayo is protecting his playing cards near the vest in a recreation he simply began taking part in. So far, so good. That is, with one exception.
Without second thought, Mayo coughed up his recreation plan for dealing with visiting household on Wednesday evening:
“We’re turning up,” he mentioned.
Cheers to that.