NFL World Reacts to Quick Hiring of Jerod Mayo To Replace Bill Belichick in New England

Social media reactions to the Jerod Mayo hire were overwhelmingly positive. Mayo is well-respected around the league and adored in the Patriots' locker room.

The New England Patriots are one of the rare instances where a legacy is clearly headed out the door and the organization has been afforded the freedom to groom a successor. Jerod Mayo will be the Patriots’ next head coach, even though Mike Vrabel’s departure from Tennessee temporarily caused doubt.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft appears to be a loyal man. A year ago, the team very publicly extended Mayo. During the offseason process, the defense-oriented mind was sought after for multiple different positions, including the Carolina Panthers’ head coaching job. He dodged a bullet there, but he did so by turning down every interview.

NFL World Reacts to Jerod Mayo Hire

Mayo becomes the youngest head coach in the NFL at just 37. The former Patriots linebacker is a month younger than Sean McVay, which is insane to think about considering the Rams’ coach has already won a Super Bowl and had retirement floated.

Roonie Rule Be Darned

All of this became a formality after Ian Rapoport’s post on X regarding a tricky contractual detail that allowed New England to skirt the league’s hiring rules.

“Sources: Jerod Mayo is a strong candidate to replace Bill Belichick & if he is the choice, the #Patriots could simply hire him,” Rapoport wrote. “No need to go through the lengthy hiring process — they established a firm, contractual succession plan in a prior contract & communicated it to the NFL.”

Mayo has helped keep an undermanned New England defense afloat over the past few seasons.

His leadership and experience on that side of the ball kept New England inside the top 10 in defensive efficiency despite suffering a rash of injuries to important pieces.

History Made in New England

Not only is Mayo the youngest head coach in the NFL, he’s also the first Black head coach in Patriots’ history, as NFL Network reporter Judy Battista noted on X.

Why is this a particular feat for the Patriots’ organization? Well, the city of Boston isn’t exactly known for being welcoming to people of color. The Harvard Political Review dove in on this topic, but we don’t even need to dig that deep.

In May 2017, Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones was berated by racist fans at Fenway Park.

“It’s different,’’ he said. “Very unfortunate. I heard there was 59 or 60 ejections tonight in the ballpark. It is what it is, right. I just go out and play baseball. It’s unfortunate that people need to resort to those type of epithets to degrade another human being. I’m trying to make a living for myself and for my family.’’

A Clear Decision

“This was always the choice,’’ Rapoport said during an NFL Network interview. “When he was a player here and I was covering him we called him Jerod Belichick just because that’s how much of a disciple he was for Bill Belichick.’’

The next clear decision for the organization was to hire a general manager to go along with Mayo. Unlike Belichick, who was an all-in-one HC/GM combo, Mayo will take a back seat on the personnel side of things.

At least for now. How long that lasts, as a Belichick disciple, remains to be seen.

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Ollie Connolly, who has covered the NFL and NFL Draft for ages now, shared a post exemplifying the “it factor” Mayo has, much like DeMeco Ryans and Dan Campbell before him.

“Belichick still takes a strong lead on all things defense, but players rave about Mayo’s attention to detail and his day-to-day coaching of technique.”

Congratulations All Around

Former Tennessee Volunteers cornerback and close personal friend to Mayo, Inky Johnson, offered his congratulations to the newly minted head coach.

Patriots beat Taylor Kyles threw up some Mayo highlights on X last night before the hire. After the hire, he discussed how beloved and respected the new head coach is within New England’s locker room.

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