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Jerod Mayo on the Rich Eisen Show From 5/2/24

Here’s a look at what New England Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo had to say during his appearance on The Rich Eisen Show last Thursday, May 2, 2024:

What was your experience overall as being an HC in a draft room for the first time?

“It was great. Worked very hand-in-hand with the scouting department. Had a good time, good discussions leading up to the draft, and we felt pretty comfortable where we were, and we’re happy with what we chose that day, one of those three days.”

You’re not any longer the last top 10 draft choice of the New England Patriots.

“(Laughs) Well, hopefully, we never have to draft this high again.”

That’s a good one. That’s a good one. But that also shows the success of the franchise It’s a surprise that you were the last top 10 draft choice of the franchise until Drake Maye, right?

“No, absolutely. There have been very special teams around here for a long time, and we’re just trying to get back to the place that we’ve been in the past. Look, it starts with the draft. We believe in drafting and developing and excited what we have.”

All right, so let’s get to your quarterback. My colleague, Daniel Jeremiah, and a bunch of others were saying there were some monumental draft trade opportunities that were placed in front you for teams that wanted the quarterback that you took. What was that moment? What were those moments like on the clock with those opportunities for you?

“Yeah, honestly, it was anticlimactic. I thought, I know everyone’s ‘monumental packages’ and things like that. But we felt comfortable at three, and we got our guy and honestly didn’t want to move. And look, our legacies are going to be tied together for a long time. With that being said, he’ll come in here and compete. We have a good quarterback room, including Jacoby, but the best players will play.”

Who does Drake Maye remind you of any quarterback that you’ve been around?

“I mean, that’s a tough one. This is a guy who has a very strong arm. He’s a great leader. It’s hard to really… He is competitive. I know the easy answer would be to say Tom Brady, but I think he’s his own man, and I’m excited to get to work with him, and hopefully for a long time.”

Well, he sounds like Philip Rivers. I’m just talking about anybody that you… He does, and I know Philip was working with him, too.

“I can see that. The throwing motion is a lot different. Maybe we’ll take Philip Rivers, but Philip Rivers has a lot of kids. This is a kid. Honestly, I know he’s a man. I know he’s a man, but this is still a young man.”

I like that answer. Listen, nobody has to throw a motion to Philip Rivers.

“It was a shot put.”

Yeah, it was like a sidearm situation. But so much is made of, ‘He’s the youngest of four kids, so he’s used to getting beat up on from his family.’ But what did you find in the evaluation process that made everybody in the room consensus go, ‘Okay, third overall, We’re assuming he’s going to be on the clock. We’re definitely taking him.’

“Yeah, each exposure, I thought, got better and better. Really got a chance to sit down and talk ball and also talk about his upbringing. Look, that’s a very competitive family. Just like you said, he was the youngest, and he’s probably the shortest one out of the group as well. But,  at the same time, this guy’s a tremendous athlete. Don’t forget about his parents. They did a fantastic job, not only grooming him on the field, but also his leadership skills and his development.”

Drake Maye

(PHOTO: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

So, what’s your plan for him?

“My plan for him, Drake?”

Yes, sir. What’s your plan for him?

“Yeah, my plan for Drake is to get him in the building, to get him around AVP (Patriots offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt) and the offensive staff, and really not try to overload him, especially early on, we all know how that kind of turns out. But when it’s all said and done, I would say, ultimately, he still has to win that job. We’re not just going to give it away and I don’t think Jacoby, the type of player, the type of competitor that he is, is just going to give it up either. So, we’ll see what happens again.”

So you are going to have an open competition for this quarterback job to see who’s the first quarterback out of the shoot in September?

“Look, I would say every position, every single position on this team, it’s about competition. Everyone’s competing, and what’s the old saying? Success is rented, and the rent’s due every day. So it starts right now in the spring, and then we’ll get back in training camp. We’ll have to see how it plays out.”

You started getting some weapons and some protection. As a matter of fact, your first five selections were on the offensive side of the ball. What was your philosophy behind all of that, Coach?

“We just went through the roster and holes that needed to be filled, and it happened to be a lot of those holes on the offensive side of the ball. And that had always been our target. We want to go after guys that are going to help this team going forward. Our philosophy was, we’ll get the best player that fills that need, and then try to develop these guys and see what we get. It’s so funny when people talk about, ‘great draft, great draft.’ But when it’s all said and done, you got to see what these guys do on the field, and their development is definitely very important.”

And then obviously, it is best guess, but it’s also how you relate to these these kids and vice versa. What do you like about Ja’Lynn Polk from Washington? What can he bring day one, do you think?

“Yeah, first and foremost with him, he’s a dirty work player. He doesn’t shy away from blocking safeties and blocking even linebackers. And that’s what really got me hooked on Polk. This guy, he’ll do all the dirty work, and at the same time, he’s a tremendous receiver. So we want that attitude in the room and on this team.”

And the kid from Central Florida, Jav0n Baker. Do you think he can be a day-one contributor as well?

“Absolutely. Once again, there’s a lot of competition in that wide receiver room, and he’s one of those guys who has a tremendous ability to really run after the catch. And if you watch him on film, he’s one of those guys that he won’t run out of bounds. He’s looking for contact, looking to get those extra yards, and that’s valuable in this game.”

When you mentioned AVP before, that’s Alex Van Pelt. That’s who you’re referring to. He’s the play collar, right? Offensive coordinator? Yeah, that’s right. Okay. I’m sorry. I’ve never been able to ask that question of a coach of the New England Patriots and get an answer.

“For a long time, we were titleless.  I do believe in titles. And look, he’s our offensive coordinator, has a tremendous history in this league, and can develop quarterbacks. We also have (Ben) McAdoo as well, handling some of those assistant head coach type of roles, as well as really being hands-on with the offense. I’m very excited. Don’t forget about our quarterback coach, T.C. McCartney. So we have guys here that will help Drake and the the other quarterbacks continue to develop. And even a guy like Jacoby, he’s not just satisfied where he is right now. He realizes that he has to get better as well. And he’s a very self-aware guy, and I think we have the coaching staff to be able to handle it.”

And that’s just also my way of getting around to the question that I’m sure you’ve already been asked a million times, and you’re going to be until there’s a game played. And then maybe even after that is, how are things different? How are things going to look differently in an organization that has been one way, one guy, and one system for such a long time? Offensively, how is this going to look different, can you say?

“Yeah, I think first and foremost, just having… We brought in 17 new coaches, and so they all bring their special dynamic or the value to the offensive side of the ball. What I will say is, look, we will be able to run the ball. I think we have tremendous running backs. The guys up front with Scottie Peters will continue to develop. And then, really, on the outside, we have receivers that can do different things. So whether it’s pushing the ball down the field or those run-after-catch type of plays, I believe AVP and the rest of the staff have a good plan going forward. And saying that, as we’ve always been a game-plan team defensively, This is a game-plan offense. And whether that’s a personnel matchup or a scheme, we have to be flexible enough to go back and forth and do what’s best for our team.”

(PHOTO: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)

Because that was my next question for you, Jerod Mayo, is how are things going to be somewhat similar? Because clearly, you’ve been around the modern-day Lombardi, as Belichick has been referred to, and I think appropriately. What did you pick up from him? What do you think your head coaching instincts are going to be somewhat similar from him?

“Look, I have tremendous respect for Bill and everything he’s done for this organization. One thing I did learn, and I talk about it all the time, is that players win games and coaches lose games. That’s one thing that coach used to always say that I truly believe. And so, as a coach, I’m trying to get this philosophy to the rest of the coaches where, ‘all right, once they cross the white lines, they need to have a complete understanding of what we’re trying to accomplish.’ And this goes back to the game plan element, right? And the complementary football. We also brought in Jeremy Springer as our special teams coordinator. So just having those conversations. And even for myself, I’ve always been here in New England. It’s been very refreshing to hear what goes on in other ball clubs around the week.”

What do you mean, refreshing to hear that? What are you referring to there?

“I think it’s a combination of schemes, also a combination of how the days are structured. Even with Springer, under (Sean) McVay, those days were structured a lot differently than what we’ve done here traditionally. Same thing with McAdoo and AVP and all these coaches. I’m still learning. Look, I’m not ignorant to the fact that I’m green. I’m green at this point. I haven’t coached a game as a head in the NFL, so I’m trying to pick up little bits and pieces, not only from the people inside of this building, but also outside the building. And look, have tremendous support from ownership. They’re not football coaches, but these guys, they run a huge business, and they know about leading people. So just having those sounding boards will definitely help me in my development going forward.”

Why? I mean, their support for you has been unquestioned since… I mean, that was the conversation for a long time is that you were the coach and waiting coach. I mean, I didn’t even bring that up to you when I was chit-chatting with you prior to the game, when I was chit-chatting with you in Germany. That was the conversation. And then there wasn’t a coaching search. It was like, this is the guy. End of story.

“Which I appreciate. And honestly, I think the league should take a look at succession planning and how that impacts the Rooney rule and things like that. So it’s definitely… I appreciate the process. I appreciate it. The Commissioner and everyone that was involved in this process. And once again, I learned a lot from Bill and even his sons. Those guys are tremendous coaches as well. I’m just looking forward to the future. And it’s the day after day after day grind that we have to make fun.”

And then how are you preparing for game day? I mean, Headset on and your role will essentially… Will you be the CEO of the day, pretty much, is that your plan?

“Yeah, that’s how I see it. I feel I’m very confident with the coordinators that we have, DeMarcus Covington on the defensive side of the ball, calling plays. And look, I’ll be in the different rooms, the offensive, defensive, and also special teams rooms. But I want to look at it from a top-down perspective. And I would also say, look, I know situational football is always huge. We have a guy here in Evan Rothstein, he’s already training me up on the different situations, and he’s learning my philosophy. So once we get into the game, it’s a smooth operation. But look, we want it to be smooth, but realistically, it’s going to be bumpy. It’s going to be ups and downs and I think any first-year head coach understands and realizes that. I try to be self-aware. And look even if you, Rich, see something I’m doing wrong, hey, reach out. I don’t want to be in echo chambers. I don’t want people that will always agree with me. I want people that are going to be honest, and I think we have those people here.”

Hey, Jerod Mayo. I always told (Steve) Mariucci, if you ever get a job back in the league again, and I told Deion (Sanders), although he didn’t reach out to me, but college is different, your replay system and who’s helping you make a decision point blank in the moment, I told him, that’s my area of expertise, is having that person racking back the video, being able to tell you right in your ear, do not throw that flag or anything of that nature. That’s crucial. That is it.

“Absolutely. And we’ve seen coaches get fired over decisions that they’ve made in those critical points. So I totally agree with you.”

And where are you going to keep the challenge flag? In your sock? Where are you going to keep it? Do we know?

“Honestly, I’m still on the skinny pants. I know now it’s like the pants are starting to change. They now have big pockets. I think I’m going to go probably right on the belly button, maybe some Velcro there.

Sure.

So it’s easy. So it’s easy. I’m going to throw it up. Coach used to throw it, he used to throw it down on the field. I’m going to throw it up so everyone can see it.”

Good to know. All right. Hey, these are things we need to know, and you need to know.

“Absolutely. I think of these things all the time.”

Yeah, so the sock was always just a weird choice to me, how to reach in there…

“I know.”

And then maybe just the anger of trying to find it led to just this spiteful throwdown.

“You’re probably right.  He would throw it right at the feet of the referee just like…(throws hand down)”

And you’re going to have sleeves? We’ve decided that. We’re going sleeves?

“Yeah, exactly. Look, let me tell you about hoodies.  I’ve been wearing hoodies long before I even knew who Bill was. And honestly, look, I love hoodies, and I will wear a hoodie now. I don’t know what I’m going to do with the sleeves. I guess it depends on the weather, but I love hoodies, and that’s what I’m going to wear.”

Okay, very good. Coach, appreciate the two cents and the time, and I appreciate it. Look out for my call. You just invited me to reach out. I will take advantage of that. Look out for that.

“Always. I appreciate you guys..”

Here’s the full video of the interview:

(Editor’s Note: This transcript is done via the available footage and is subject to typos.  If you spot something, please take a moment to let me know in the comments below.)

About Ian Logue

Ian Logue is a Seacoast native and owner and senior writer for PatsFans.com, an independent media site covering the New England Patriots and has been running this site in one form or another since 1997.

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Jerod Mayo

Rich Eisen


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