How Jerod Mayo Feels About Patriots’ Looming Showdown Vs. Tom Brady

'You always want to coach against the best'


Sep 21, 2021

We’re still 12 days away from the New England Patriots’ titanic Week 4 matchup with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Jerod Mayo was willing to glance ahead during his Tuesday morning video conference.

Mayo, the Patriots’ inside linebackers coach, played eight seasons with Brady in New England, winning one Super Bowl and playing in another. Since he’s not scheduled to speak with reporters during Bucs week, the linebacker-turned-coach was asked how he feels about facing off against his former teammate.

“It wouldn’t be weird at all,” Mayo said. “We’re both competitors, and you always want to coach against the best. I think Tom, obviously he’s a great quarterback, a very cerebral person. I kind of look at myself the same way. I definitely would enjoy the challenge.”

And it will be a challenge. No doubt about that.

Brady has thrown an NFL-high nine touchdown passes through two games — including four to fellow ex-Patriot Rob Gronkowski — defying precedent and the laws of nature at age 44. The defending champion Bucs have scored 31 and 48 points in those contests, winning both.

This will be Brady’s and Gronkowski’s first game against New England since they landed in Tampa last offseason.

The Patriots have surrendered just 23 total points through two weeks — a loss to the Miami Dolphins and a win over the New York Jets — but have faced two inexperienced quarterbacks in Tua Tagovailoa and Zach Wilson.

Before they welcome Brady back to Gillette Stadium, the Patriots will need to contend with another NFC South foe, the New Orleans Saints, who will be in town this Sunday. Led by big-armed but erratic former Bucs QB Jameis Winston, the Saints trounced the Green Bay Packers 38-3 in their season opener but managed just one touchdown in a 26-7 loss to the Carolina Panthers in Week 2.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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