Jerod Mayo is back with the New England Patriots — this time in a coaching role.
The former Patriots linebacker announced Wednesday on Instagram he has agreed to take over as New England’s new linebackers coach.
Here’s what Mayo wrote in the post:
Dear Friends, Family and Patriots Nation,
It is with great excitement, passion, and sense of purpose to share with you that I have accepted Coach Belichick’s offer to rejoin the New England Patriots as a Coach. I am eager to get started and work hard alongside so many of my former coaches and teammates, all who I know to be solely focused on maintaining the winning culture we have come to know as the Patriot Way. I want to thank my loved ones, The Kraft Family, Bill Belichick and
most importantly my wife Chantel and our four children, for their constant support as we enter this exciting new chapter of our lives. LETS GOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! #lfg #i’mback #unfinishedbusiness #patriots
Mayo, the 10th overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, spent his entire eight-year playing career with the Patriots, earning two Pro Bowl nods, one first-team All-Pro selection and one Super Bowl ring.
Injuries hampered the 33-year-old’s availability and effectiveness in his later years — he finished his final three seasons on injured reserve — but in his prime, he was one of the NFL’s premier middle linebackers and a commanding presence in the Patriots’ locker room. He retired from football after the 2015 season.
“There have been very few players in my career that I’ve had the opportunity to coach that have had more of an impact on the team than Jerod has from Day 1, which is unusual,” Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said in March 2016. “From the first day he walked into the facility, which was his pre-draft visit, to after we drafted him in 2008, he’s been a pleasure to coach, great addition to our team both on and off the field. I’m sure I learned a lot more from him than he did from me.”
Mayo, who most recently worked as an analyst for NBC Sports Boston, replaces linebackers coach/de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores, now head coach of the Miami Dolphins. Greg Schiano reportedly will take over defensive coordinator duties, with longtime Schiano assistant Bob Fraser also joining the staff in an unspecified defensive role.
Mayo’s announcement prompted congratulatory responses from several of his former Patriots teammates, including cornerback Aqib Talib, who offered to coach Mayo’s defensive backs “in a couple years when you (are a) head coach!!!”
The Patriots return the top three linebackers from their 2018 Super Bowl championship squad (Kyle Van Noy, Dont’a Hightower and Elandon Roberts), plus Ja’Whaun Bentley, who impressed as a rookie before suffering a second-ending biceps injury, and hybrid ‘backer/defensive end John Simon. Christian Sam also will compete for a roster spot after spending his rookie year on IR.
Longtime Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater compared Bentley to Mayo early last season — exceedingly high praise for such a young player.
Mayo’s younger brother, Deron, is the Patriots’ assistant strength and conditioning coach.
Thumbnail photo via Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports Images