One thing became immediately evident during Wednesday afternoon’s Patriots press conference in Foxboro, Mass.: Robert Kraft and Jerod Mayo share a close bond.

Six days after New England parted ways with longtime head coach Bill Belichick, the organization formally introduced Mayo as the 15th head coach in Patriots history. Kraft opened the media availability by issuing a lengthy statement about the coaching shift, and as he passed the baton to Mayo, the 37-year-old coach revealed his nickname for the New England owner who’s 45 years his senior.

“I appreciate you, Thunder,” Mayo told Kraft. “I call him Young Thundercat — he has a young heart.”

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Perhaps the nickname was born during the Patriots’ 2019 trek to Israel. Kraft revealed it was on that trip when he realized Mayo had what it took to be a head coach someday. That expectation came to fruition last Friday, but Mayo reportedly learned of his path to Patriots head coach as far back as two years ago.

Kraft obviously knocked it out of the park when he decided to bring Belichick aboard in 2000 despite major skepticism. Now. “Thunder” is hoping history will repeat itself with Mayo.

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