Eagles Rumors: Patriots' Jerod Mayo to Interview for HC After Pederson's Firing

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 13, 2021

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, right, instructs defensive lineman Chase Winovich, center, as inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo, second from left, instructs defensive end John Simon, left, on the sideline in the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Elise Amendola/Associated Press

New England Patriots inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo is reportedly expected to interview with the Philadelphia Eagles this week about their head coaching vacancy after the firing of Doug Pederson.

Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported Wednesday it'll be the first time Mayo, a Pats linebacker for eight seasons from 2008 through 2015, will be interviewed for a head coach opening.

The 34-year-old Virginia native was a key defensive leader for the Patriots throughout his playing career, highlighted by seven years as captain starting in 2009. It made his transition to Bill Belichick's coaching staff a smooth one, and it's allowed him to attract immediate attention as a possible head coach.

Belichick explained during Mayo's first season on the staff that he provided a unique perspective:

"Jerod's done a great job. His experience as a player in our system is very valuable. We can talk about calls that we can make on the field or identifications and so forth and his perspective of, 'Yeah, that's no problem. That'd be easy. That's easy for us to do,' or 'That's a lot harder because the player is thinking about 'this,' he's thinking about 'that' and so forth.' It makes us rethink and have that perspective of how easy it is or isn't for a player in certain situations. He's done it, and he's done it under pressure and dealt with a lot of things we currently deal with, and so that's a good perspective to have in the room. We don't have that from anybody else defensively."

Mayo recorded 802 total tackles, 19 passes defended, 11 sacks, eight forced fumbles and three interceptions in 103 regular-season appearances for New England. He added 57 tackles in eight playoff games but missed the Super Bowl XLIX run at the end of the 2014 season because of an injury.

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Going from inside linebackers coach to head coach after just two seasons as an assistant would be a major leap, but his playing experience and extensive time within Belichick's system gives him an advantage most younger coaches don't have.

Meanwhile, the Eagles are moving quickly to find a replacement for Pederson, who was fired Monday after five years as the team's head coach.

The former NFL quarterback guided Philadelphia to a Super Bowl title in his second season, and the franchise also qualified for the postseason in both 2018 and 2019. It posted a 4-11-1 record in 2020, however, and that was enough for ownership to seek a new direction to lead the staff.

His replacement will take over a roster in transition, highlighted by deciding whether to move forward with Carson Wentz, Jalen Hurts or an offseason addition at quarterback.