The Patriots didn’t waste any time backfilling Bill Belichick after the organization parted ways with the longtime head coach Thursday.

One day after Belichick and franchise owner Robert Kraft announced their separation, New England named Jerod Mayo as its new head coach. The Patriots had an NFL-approved succession plan in place for Mayo, who turned down head-coaching interviews last offseason in order to sign a new contract in Foxboro, Mass.

The documented plan allowed New England to forego a standard NFL coaching search. While that helped the Patriots to turn the page quicker, folks around the league apparently were a bit taken by Kraft and company not taking a look around.

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“As certain as the Krafts are about Mayo — and their hiring of past head coaches Belichick and Pete Carroll warrants respect — some executives and coaches around the NFL are surprised they didn’t conduct interviews with other candidates, if for nothing else than to gather information that could benefit the organization in the future,” ESPN’s Mike Reiss wrote in a column published Sunday morning.

Kraft figures to explain the Patriots’ decision to not consider other candidates Wednesday afternoon when Mayo is formally introduced as New England’s 15th head coach in franchise history.

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