DETROIT — It seems former New England Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo ascended quickly on Bill Belichick’s coaching staff.

Mayo, a first-year linebackers coach, appears to be the Patriots’ defensive play-caller in their preseason opener against the Detroit Lions. Mayo is calling in plays off a sheet on the sideline. Mayo also has been the Patriots’ defensive play-caller in training camp practices.

The Patriots have lost their last two defensive play-callers to head coaching jobs in the past two offseasons. Former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia departed for the Lions after the 2017 season, while former linebackers coach Brian Flores left the Patriots for the Miami Dolphins this offseason.

Mayo played linebacker for the Patriots from 2008 to 2015. He was out of football, working in business and broadcasting ventures from 2016 to 2018.

After Flores left, the Patriots hired former Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Greg Schiano to be their defensive coordinator. He resigned from the position in March before his hiring even was announced.

Thumbnail photo via Matthew Emmons/USA TODAY Sports Images