Jerod Mayo on Wednesday formally was introduced as New England Patriots head coach, and he made it clear how his style would differ from Bill Belichick’s.

Mayo brought in moments of levity during his news conference, including revealing the nickname he gave to owner Robert Kraft: “Young Thundercat.”

One focus of Mayo’s news conference was his staff. The 37-year-old spent the past five seasons as linebackers coach, and the Patriots went without a formal defensive coordinator since 2018, the season after Matt Patricia left the team. Bill O’Brien was the team’s offensive coordinator this season after Patricia and Joe Judge failed to run the offense as assistants. Mayo was asked if he as head coach will formally name coordinators.

“I think titles are important,” Mayo told reporters. “No knock to coach Belichick, who has been a huge mentor to me over the years as a player and as a colleague. What I would say is titles are important, outwardly. As far as in the building, I don’t care what your title is. It’s what’s your job, what value are you going to bring to the organization? And I think that’s the most important thing.

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“I think in business and in sports, people get caught up in titles, but I also understand the other side. If you want to continue to get promoted, people have to know exactly what you do. But like I said earlier, inside, it’s all about collaboration. That’s what ‘Thunder’ talked about, and that’s what I’m about as well.”

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After his retirement following the 2015 season, Mayo spent time in the corporate world working at Optum. His time there likely will influence him as a head coach, and his note regarding career advancement could be about critiques of his quick ascension from linebackers coach to head coach.

For those outside of New England, it never was clear what Mayo’s responsibilities were as linebackers coach. Steve Belichick primarily called plays on defense, but Mayo also had a hand in running the defense. For Bill Belichick, titles didn’t matter. And Mayo agreed that job responsibility is more important, but for the rest of the NFL, titles and clearly defined roles matter.

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There might be some celebrations after the news conference, but Mayo quickly will get going on assembling his staff to prepare for a pivotal NFL draft and first season without Belichick.

Featured image via Eric Canha/USA TODAY Sports Images